Numerous trucking accidents take place on America’s roadways each year. Because of the sheer size and weight of semi-trucks, those crashes often result in more serious injuries and deaths than those involving standard passenger vehicles. In many cases, the loads being hauled by tractor-trailers increase the risks as well. While any number of injuries can stem from trucking accidents, some are more common than others.
Taking a Look at the Five Most Common Trucking Accident Injuries
As is the case with any type of accident, broken bones, bruises and lacerations certainly come into play with Truck Accident victims. Those suffering such minor issues are typically considered the lucky ones, though. Both truck drivers and occupants of other vehicles involved tend to receive far more extensive injuries.
1) Head Injuries
Head injuries are among the most common and detrimental consequences of accidents involving tractor-trailers. They can cause a wide range of medical issues from mild confusion and nausea to complete loss of speech and coordination. Some symptoms arise immediately following the accident whereas others may not appear for a few days. While those symptoms are sometimes temporary, they can also be permanent. Depending on the force of the blow and certain other factors, head injuries can also be fatal.
2) Internal Organ Damage
Though the human body is much tougher than it might seem, significant impacts can certainly damage internal organs. Spleen lacerations, punctured lungs, ruptured stomachs and bowels, and damaged kidneys are only a few examples of internal organ damage possibly resulting from eighteen-wheeler accidents. These injuries can lead to extensive healing periods, multiple surgeries and lifelong pain in many cases.
3) Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is responsible for sending impulses from the brain to the rest of the body. In an accident, the spinal cord itself or the bones and soft tissues surrounding it can be injured, leading to both direct and indirect damage. Injury to this vital strand of nerves can result in tingling, numbness, pain, loss of bodily functions and paralysis. Treatment for spinal cord injuries is often lengthy and costly. In many cases, victims never recover from this type of injury.
Large amounts of fuel are often involved in semi-truck accidents. While the trucks’ fuel tanks are a significant factor here, those carrying fuel and other flammable substances pose even greater dangers. Even a small spark from a damaged electrical system could start a deadly fire, and those trapped inside vehicles following an accident are at increased risk of being burned. Chronic pain, disfigurement, emotional scarring, and numerous other issues may stem from this type of injury.
According to a recent report from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, more than 116,000 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in trucking accidents during the last year for which information has been made available. An estimated 4,760 truck drivers also lost their lives as a result of these crashes. Studies show tractor-trailer crashes are ten times more likely to result in death than accidents involving other types of vehicles.
Reports show semi-truck accidents can happen for a number of reasons. Exhaustion, distracted driving, lack of experience and equipment failure are among the most common culprits. While truck drivers are often at fault, those operating passenger vehicles may be responsible for the events to ensue as well. Regardless of the cause, tractor-trailers are larger, heavier and more difficult to control than standard automobiles. As a result, they’re more likely to cause serious injuries and loss of life.
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