Truck accidents can be particularly dangerous for others sharing the Pennsylvania roadways. Because of the size and mass of large commercial vehicles, other people in a crash are at a higher risk of severe injuries or even death. In 2017, deaths associated with semi-truck crashes reached the highest point in 29 years according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Some of these crashes may be caused by speeding truck drivers aiming to make up time before taking a mandatory rest break after eight hours of driving.
Some truck drivers say that an increasing number are speeding as they reach the end of an eight-hour shift, which could lead to serious trucking crashes. In 2017 alone, 37,133 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents. While overall crashes showed a minor downturn, fatalities due to trucking accidents rose by 9 percent to 4,761. Around 1,300 of the dead were truckers; the others were drivers and passengers in other vehicles, amounting to 72 percent of the total.
Federal safety officials said that trucking companies and drivers have a responsibility to not speed up at the end of a mandatory shift break. They cautioned that speeding truck drivers put everyone else on the road at risk at a time when their own fatigue levels may be elevated. Some drivers say that they can go up to 11 hours at a time safely and that the rest break increases their fatigue levels, posing another threat to roadway safety.
People who have been hit by a large truck may suffer from catastrophic injuries and permanent disabilities. Many of these crashes are the result of truck driver or trucking company negligence. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help people injured in a crash seek compensation for their damages, including medical bills or lost wages.