Any discussion of risk-promoting agents operative on Kentucky’s transportation corridors would be incomplete without a prominent shout out to large trucks.
Those come in many configurations, ranging from behemoth-sized tractor-trailers and assorted 18-wheel big rigs to tank trucks, cargo vans and other vehicles.
Those mostly commercial conveyances pose immediate and often outsized danger to the general motoring public.
And for obvious reasons. Here are just a few danger enhancers linked with large trucks:
- Comparatively huge size, with downside implications tied to stability and maneuverability
- Limited driver visibility (e.g., blind spots) regarding surrounding traffic; truckers sometimes just don’t see other vehicles
- Dramatically lengthened stopping distances
- Loads sometimes replete with hazardous goods, inflammable liquids/gases or other toxic materials
- Safety shortcomings owing to irregular/inadequate maintenance
And those accident catalysts don’t even consider the additional risks arising from truck drivers themselves. Professional truckers are often rigorously trained and highly skilled, but many of them are also stressed and unduly fatigued. Pick-up and delivery schedules are routinely tight and forgiving. Drivers must often push on under pressurized conditions. Many don’t get enough sleep. There are amply documented instances of behind-the-wheel impairment marked by alcohol and/or drug use.
How serious are risks posed by large trucks in Kentucky?
The answer to the above header query can be succinctly stated following scrutiny of truck-crash and linked personal injury data provided in a Kentucky State Police report relevant to a recent year. That study is a bit turgid and detailed, but its key statistics linked to 2018 accident information are immediately telling.
They state this: More than 10,600 trucks were involved in crashes yielding nearly 1,700 injuries. Sadly, 116 of those were fatal.
Persons suffering personal injuries in truck accidents (as well as surviving family members grieving following the wrongful death of a loved one) are not powerless to respond in Kentucky. Meaningful legal remedies can be pursued that promote accountability and help to secure maximum compensation that can be applied to broad-based needs.
It is an imperative that every motor vehicle be adequately maintained and safely operated on state roadways. That applies with special emphasis to large trucks.