Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
Serving Denver & the Greater Colorado Area for Three Decades
Trucking accidents are on the rise nationally, and their effects can be devastating to both truck drivers and other motorists. Besides causing serious personal injuries and fatalities, accidents often lead to lost time at work, emotional anxiety, lower quality of life, and more.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident or any other type of auto accident in Colorado, you can contact me for a free consultation at (303) 454-8000 or toll-free at (800) ROSEN-911, or by filling out the form on the right.
I’ve handled tens of thousands of truck accident and personal injury cases. I’ve seen a case just like yours, and I can help you through it!
Whether you are a commercial truck driver or a fellow motorist on the road, it’s important to be aware of the leading causes of truck accidents and what all drivers can do to prevent them.
Below you’ll find helpful information regarding truck accidents and resources for Colorado drivers who’ve been involved in them.
Colorado Truck Accident Facts & Resources
Truck Accidents on the Rise: Disturbing Statistics
As the number of cars and trucks on the road steadily increase, it’s unfortunately not surprising that truck accidents are growing. Commercial trucks can be 80 feet long and weigh as much as 40 tons, and motorists who collide with them are likely to suffer serious and even fatal injuries. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, about 500,000 truck accidents occur every year in the U.S.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,675 Americans died in traffic accidents involving large trucks in 2010, up 8.7 percent from 2009.
The statistics for Colorado are equally as staggering:
- Forty-nine Colorado drivers were killed in collisions involving trucks during this same time period, with Weld County leading the list of fatal truck accidents in the state in 2010.
- Other Colorado counties that were the site of multiple truck accident fatalities included Adams County, Douglas County, Elbert County, and Jefferson County.
Other national statistics that drivers may find surprising include:
- 68 percent of all fatal truck accidents occur in rural areas, not cities.
- Two-thirds of all fatal truck accidents happen during the day as opposed to at night.
- 78 percent of the total fatal truck accidents occurred on weekends in 2003.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents that are the fault of the truck driver are most commonly caused by:
- Fatigue, excessive speed to meet tight deadlines, equipment failure, mountain road conditions, overloading or improper loading, inclement weather, driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or prescribed medications, and distracted driving (texting).
- The cargo being hauled can also cause accidents, including hazardous or flammable materials, oil spills, and chemical releases.
But not all truck accidents are caused by the truck driver. Lawcore.com reports that the majority of truck accidents are actually caused by errors on the part of those who drive smaller vehicles.
Smaller vehicle errors include:
- Driving in the blind spots of the trucks, cutting into a lane directly in front of a truck, following a truck too closely, trying to pass a truck on the wrong side of the road, abandoning a stalled car in the middle of a traffic lane instead of the shoulder of the road, distracted driving, and driving under the influence.
New Laws That Impact the Trucking Industry
The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act of 2011, or the CMV bill, has been recommended for committee and if passed, would require truck operators to use electric onboard recorders (EOBRs) to help deal with driver fatigue, implement higher fines for carriers that continue to operate illegally after being shut down for safety violations, and set up a clearinghouse of alcohol and controlled substance test records of drivers.
Beginning in January 2012, a federal law was put in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration with prohibitive restrictions for truckers, including:
- Texting, dialing, and even holding a phone while operating a truck, but allowing drivers to use hands-free mobile devices requiring only a single touch.
Operators who violate this law may face over $2000 in fines and the loss of the license. According to an ABC7.com report, the law came as a response to an accident involving a truck driver who was using his cell phone when he caused an accident that killed 11 people in Kentucky in 2011.
What Truck Drivers can do to Stay Safe
The good news is that there are numerous precautions drivers can take to decrease the chances of accidents. According to LegalInfo.com, trucking companies need to ensure that the trucks they run are well maintained, and that the drivers they hire are disciplined. Defensive driving techniques, slowing down in work zones, keeping a safe following distance, and being aware of “no-zones” can help avoid trucking accidents and fatalities.
Contact Colorado Truck Accident Attorney Daniel R. Rosen
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident due to the negligence of another driver, the fastest way to find out if you have a case is to schedule a free consultation with me. Just fill out the form on the right, or call our Denver office at (303) 454-8000.
At the Law Offices of Daniel R. Rosen, it’s our goal to get you through your truck accident and injury claim as quickly and smoothly as we can. I personally handle every single case that comes across my desk, and I have nearly three decades of experience handling auto accident and personal injury cases.