Portland, OR- Currently in the U.S. there are millions of registered commercial trucks in the U.S. and the trucking industry is going to keep growing. By 2015, the approximately $300 billion dollar trucking is expected to double which means the number of tractor-trailers, semis, tankers and other commercial trucks will increase significantly. This growth is great news from the economy and the trucking industry, but it can be very intimidating for passenger vehicle motorists since accidents involving large trucks are twice as deadly small vehicle collisions.

According to 2009 statistics from the American Trucking Association, one percent of overall truck accidents resulted in one or more fatalities; that’s twice as deadly as passenger vehicle accidents. Fatal collision data from the same years showed that 0.5 percent of auto collision resulted in one or more fatalities.

Tractor-trailers and large truck accidents tend to be more deadly because of the sheer size and weight commercial vehicles. The average tractor-trailer can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds so the deadliness of a tractor-trailer accident is just a simple matter of physics; the bigger and heavier the moving object the greater the impact. If a large heavy vehicle also happens to be traveling at a high rate of speed, the resulting impact can be even greater and more destructive.

Truck drivers frequently get hurt or killed by other careless motorists, but they tend to fare better in accidents because they have the protection of a much larger vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 15 percent of truck accidents result in the death of the truck driver.

Tractor-trailers and truck drivers are need; they deliver goods to stores and supplier to manufacturers. The U.S. economy would likely crumble without commercial trucks and trucker drivers, but also need those drivers to be safe and takes steps to keep themselves and other motorists safe. While the large majority of truckers are safe drivers, it only takes one negligent driver to paint the entire industry in a negative light.

The causes of truck accidents vary; they can be caused by driver error, failed mechanics, improper maintenance and inadequate safety equipment.

Drowsiness, intoxication, inattention and distraction are the most common driver errors and it is difficult to combat all of these problems. The federal government passed new regulations aimed at cutting down on the incidents of drowsy driving or fatigued driving by limiting the number of continuous hours a trucker can drive in a 24-hour period, and requiring they have adequate rest periods.

This is a small measure that combined with other safety rules can go a long way to prevent truck accidents, but it won’t prevent them all. When a person is seriously injured in truck accident or has lost a family member they can turn to a Portland truck accident attorney to help build a successful injury or wrongful death claim. With the assistance of a truck accident attorney, an injury victim can have the confidence their rights will be protected and they are fairly compensated.