With four interstate highways serving our area, big-rig trucks remain a common site in Birmingham and the surrounding communities. Hauling anything from building materials, fuel, automobiles and medicine to food, clothing and other consumer goods, the behemoth-like trucks provide crucial transportation to our country.

However, many potential dangers exist when sharing the road with an 18-wheeler. Without any question, when another motor vehicle is involved in an accident with a truck, the former likely will not be unscathed. Serious injuries occur to drivers and passengers in vehicles that collide with a truck. Abruptly, your life has changed.

Alabama truck accidents led to 122 deaths in 2018

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a total of 4,951 people were killed and 151,000 people were injured in crashes on U.S. roads involving large trucks in 2018. Roughly 26% of large-truck accidents took place on interstates, while 57% occurred in rural areas.

Alabama recorded 122 of the fatalities. Of those deaths in our state, 96 or nearly 79% were occupants of other vehicles. Causes for large truck accidents are many. Here are some of the reasons:

  • An inexperienced truck driver inadequately trained by his or her employer.
  • Fatigue due to the lengthy hours truck drivers work hauling cargo and meeting deadlines.
  • Reckless truck drivers who ignore traffic laws.
  • The presence of alcohol and controlled substances in a truck driver’s system. (The NHTSA report noted that 3% of truck drivers involved in fatal crashes were drunk.)
  • Defective truck parts provided by manufacturers.
  • Poorly maintained trucks due to mechanic negligence.
  • Unbalanced loads in a truck’s trailer can shift, causing the truck to overturn.

All drivers must subscribe to the defensive driving strategy, and they must be extra careful when sharing the road with trucks that weigh several tons. An injury due to a large-truck accident can lead to financial calamity and a lengthy recovery time.