How many truck accidents happen on Indiana roads?
What causes most truck accidents?
How are truck accidents different from passenger car accidents?
Are there features other than their weight that make trucks dangerous on the road?
Are drugs and alcohol a problem for truck drivers?
What about truck driver fatigue?
What types of injuries happen in truck wrecks?
Do most large truck fatal accidents happen on interstates?
Why is it a good idea to hire a lawyer after an accident involving a large truck?
What areas of Indiana do you cover?

How many truck accidents happen on Indiana roads?


In 2011, large trucks accounted for 4 percent of the vehicles in Indiana collisions, but when you look at collisions in which a person died, large trucks were involved in 13 percent of the accidents. In that year, there were 143 such fatal accidents in Indiana and 1,931 large truck accidents which caused injuries. Large trucks are defined as those with a gross vehicle weight exceeding 10,000 pounds, including single unit trucks and truck tractors.

What causes most truck accidents?

Statistics from the National Transportation Safety Board show that, in general, driver error is the leading cause of large truck accidents, accounting for 31 percent of fatal truck accidents. Indiana State Police figures indicate the following specific causes of 2011 serious injury collisions involving large trucks:

  • Failure to yield the right of way – 20.33%
  • Following too closely – 12.15%
  • Truck veered to left of center – 11.02%
  • Truck ran off the road to the right – 7.34%
  • Disregarded a signal – 7.06%
  • Was traveling at an unsafe speed – 6.78%
  • Was driving too fast for weather conditions – 4.80%
  • Driver was asleep or fatigued – 2.54%

How are truck accidents different from passenger car accidents?

Because of their weight, trucks can inflict much more damage than cars can, both to property and to life and limb. An average passenger vehicle weighs around 3,000 pounds, but tractor-trailers can weigh up to 80,000. Normally, in a car accident the driver is the only responsible party; but in truck accidents, victims may look to others – such as the trucking company or the owner of the tractor-trailer – for compensation.

Are there features other than their weight that make trucks dangerous on the road?

Large trucks have large blind spots, sometimes called “no zones,” in the front, rear and sides. If another vehicle happens to be in one of the blind spots when the truck driver executes a turn or changes lanes, it’s at risk of being hit. This could explain the fact that in Indiana in 2011, nearly 5 percent of large trucks were changing lanes prior to a collision, compared to 2 percent for other vehicle types.

Are drugs and alcohol a problem for truck drivers?

Being on the road for long stretches can cause fatigue and boredom. Some truckers do use illegal substances to try to stay alert. The Insurance Institute for Traffic Safety found in a study that 15 percent of tractor-trailer drivers had marijuana in their system; 12 percent had used stimulants; 2 percent had cocaine in their system; but less than 1 percent were under the influence of alcohol.

The Code of Federal Regulations prohibits truck drivers from engaging in certain risky or dangerous behaviors. They are not to use any drug – legal or illegal – that could interfere with their ability to operate a truck safely.

What about truck driver fatigue?

The problem of drowsy (and dangerous) truck drivers prompted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to revise the hours-of-service (HOS) safety requirements for commercial truck drivers. The new HOS rules require a driver to take at least a 30-minute break every 8 consecutive hours. Drivers are allowed to drive 11 hours within a period of 14 consecutive hours, but after 11 hours of driving, the driver must be off duty for 10 consecutive hours before again taking the wheel. On a weekly basis, a truck driver’s total on-duty time is limited to 60 hours in each 7-day period or 70 hours in 8 days, with the new “week” beginning after the driver has 34 consecutive off-duty hours. This is known as the 34-hour restart.

Importantly, the restart period must include at least two off-duty periods between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

What types of injuries happen in truck wrecks?

Because of their size and weight, trucks can inflict devastating injuries. The Indianapolis truck wreck lawyers of Mike Stephenson’s firm have represented clients who suffered serious injuries in large truck accidents, including the following:

  • Broken arms and legs
  • Internal injuries
  • Fractured vertebrae
  • Crushed limbs requiring amputation
  • Paraplegia
  • Traumatic brain injury.

You can read some of their stories here.

Do most large truck fatal accidents happen on interstates?

Actually, nationally, 61 percent of fatalities occurred on major roads other than interstate highways. State routes, urban arteries and rural roads also see a fair share of truck accidents.

Why is it a good idea to hire a lawyer after an accident involving a large truck?

If you or your family member was injured in the accident, you will have many issues to deal with and a number of responsibilities competing for your time and attention. It is likely that the trucking company will have a team of experienced lawyers and insurance adjusters to represent their interests. You deserve equally focused representation. It might not even be clear in the beginning who all the potential responsible parties are. A truck accident lawyer will know how to scrutinize the details of the accident and investigate the circumstances to clarify liability. And insurance companies are notorious for trying to make quick settlements. In the pain and confusion following a large truck accident, your judgment may be clouded. Let an attorney advise you and work toward a full and fair compensation for your family’s catastrophic accident.

What areas of Indiana do you cover?

Although our offices are in Shelbyville, near Indianapolis, our personal injury attorneys serve clients located in towns and cities all across the state of Indiana. In fact, Mike Stephenson has handled litigation in 18 states and is often called upon by attorneys in other states to assist with their Indiana cases.

Mike Stephenson believes justice matters. Phone him at 855-206-2555 or use the firm’s convenient online contact form. You’ll find comfort in the way Mike listens to your story and takes a “client first” approach.