Many people are concerned about the sharp increase in car crashes seen in recent years: Traffic fatalities rose a shocking 14 percent from 2014 to 2016, reaching their highest total in nearly a decade, and they are expected to improve only slightly in 2017 when all the numbers are in. Michigan was no exception to the national trend, seeing nearly one hundred more traffic deaths in 2016 than the year before.
It’s important to note that cars aren’t the only risk on the road. In 2016, the Wolverine State also saw heavy truck crashes spike over the previous year.
Michigan Truck Crashes by the Numbers
Nearly 12,500 heavy trucks were part of the more than 312,000 crashes reported in Michigan in 2016. More than 3,000 people were injured in those crashes, and 120 killed. While they accounted for only 3.8 percent of all crashes, they contributed more than 11 percent of the traffic fatality total.
That unfortunate imbalance is a side-effect of the large size and weight of trucks, which are often as heavy as half a dozen or more average passenger vehicles. Truck drivers are actually slightly safer drivers overall compared to car drivers, and their rate for some unsafe behaviors—such as drunk driving—is much better: A truck driver is found to be under the influence in only about 2 percent of all fatal crashes, which is one-tenth the rate of passenger car drivers.
Damage, Injuries the Same, but Different
The damage in crashes with trucks is the same as in other kinds of crashes—with an important difference. While a low-speed crash or a sideswipe between two cars might only require minor repairs, the size difference between cars and trucks can mean that the same crash configuration with a truck causes extensive damage, even totaling a vehicle that would otherwise only need cosmetic repairs.
Likewise, while the physical injuries in all crashes are similar—everything from bumps and bruises to broken bones to more serious injuries—the chance of those injuries being more severe in a crash with a truck is greatly increased. The chance of a fatal injury, as noted above, is significantly higher. In fact, it’s more than three times that of crashes in lighter vehicles.
Detroit Truck Accident Lawyer
When you’ve been in an accident with a large truck, it’s important to get in touch with a Detroit truck accident lawyer to help with your case. The experienced attorneys at Christensen Law understand the many complicating factors that can make this kind of case daunting for a victim to handle on his or her own—things like determining who has liability when a commercial vehicle is involved: the driver, operator, and owner may all be different, and each might bear some or all responsibility after a crash. Tracking down that information and other details is not always easy.
We offer every client a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss his or her case, so you have nothing to lose. Give us a call at 248-213-4900 or contact us online through the form below to schedule an appointment.