The holidays are obviously incredibly busy – especially for truck drivers. When you’re out and about taking care of your own shopping, delivery trucks are probably going to be just about everywhere you look. The people driving those trucks are very likely exhausted and more prone to causing fatigue-related delivery truck accidents as a result.
Penn Kestner & McEwen has a team of seasoned attorneys who will be ready to represent you if you’ve suffered a severe injury in an accident with a delivery truck that wasn’t your fault. We will put all of our considerable skill and experience to work in an effort to obtain maximum compensation on your behalf.
You’re probably already aware that truck accidents continue to occur on a regular basis. Delivery truck accidents are no exception.
In a two-year period from 2015-2017, there were 1,762 accidents involving FedEx delivery vehicles. These resulted in 575 injuries and, tragically, 41 fatalities. The number of crashes increased by a staggering 254% since 2012, with injuries increasing by 192% and deaths by 273%. There were even more crashes involving UPS trucks during that time period, with 2,003 wrecks resulting in 689 injuries and 49 deaths.
Since everyone is so busy during this time of year, that stress can carry over when drivers are behind the wheel. They might be thinking so much about all the things they need to do they’re not as focused on the road. When truck drivers have this lapse in focus, the results can be devastating. These are just a few of the reasons truck accidents are an even higher risk.
Truck drivers are always under incredibly burdensome deadlines – holiday deadlines are even worse. This means they’ll push beyond their limits, often driving when they’re far too tired to do so safely. If you’ve ever tried to drive when you missed just an hour or two of sleep, you know how difficult that can be. Truckers will often spend 10 or more hours driving consecutively – many times even longer. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see how an accident could easily occur.
But trucking companies will sometimes increase the risks of accidents by cutting corners. When they don’t make deadlines, they lose money. So as a result, they’ll often ignore critical maintenance in an effort to protect their profits.
More people have more things to do during the holidays than during the rest of the year. They not only have to shop, but many of them have to drive around to get what they need for the holiday parties they’re hosting. Still, others will hit the road traveling to see family members and friends who live far away. With all this added traffic sharing roads with huge delivery trucks, the potential for accidents gets even higher. Because there are more deliveries to make around this time, there’s also an increase in the number of delivery trucks on the road.
Driving a truck can be a very lucrative profession. But it can also be incredibly grueling. That’s why it’s so difficult for companies to find replacements for the drivers who are retiring. Trucking companies are desperate, so they’re turning to a lot of people who aren’t really qualified to be able to handle these huge, complicated machines.
Again, there are a lot of people driving a lot of vehicles – both passenger cars and commercial trucks – and, for many of them, their minds aren’t completely on the road. They’re checking their phones for directions to a specific store, or they’re simply distracted with trying to knock whatever they can off of their to-do list as fast as they can.
Truck drivers aren’t immune to this lack of focus, of course. They’re staying behind the wheel far too long in the first place, so they’re already tired. If they’re not focused, the results can be tragic.
Road construction doesn’t stop during the holidays, of course. When you combine that with often-dangerous winter weather, the risks of delivery truck accidents can rise exponentially.
A truck accident lawsuit is typically very complicated. One of the biggest reasons is that there will often be more than one party that’s to blame. The truck driver, for instance, can be at fault due to driving while fatigued or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If a truck part malfunctions because of a lack of maintenance, the company that owns the truck could be liable. If that part failed due to defective manufacturing, the company that made the part could face liability as well.
That’s why it’s so critical that an investigation into the accident begins as quickly as possible. That investigation will be needed so that you have the solid evidence it will take to be able to win your case.
You could help that happen. The first thing to do, of course, after a truck accident is to call for the medical help you need. That has to be your first priority. After that, take pictures and videos of the accident scene if you can do so safely. Also, talk to any witnesses and get their contact information.
After that, hire an attorney. The faster you do this, the earlier the investigation can begin – and the better the chances you’ll have the proof you’ll need to get the money you deserve. When someone is hurt in a truck accident, the medical bills just keep rolling in. That adds a lot of stress to an already terrible situation. That stress is even worse when an accident occurs during the holidays.
But a skilled lawyer can make the difference between even more financial misery and obtaining the compensation you have coming for the negligence of others.