In an average year in the United States, nearly 4,000 people die as a result of a trucking accident. Tens of thousands more are injured in such incidents. Owing to the unusual number of visitors that come to the state each year, and the supplies brought in to cater to them, Nevada – and Las Vegas in particular – is home to a disproportionately high number of these trucking accidents.
In the majority of cases, it’s not the truck driver who’s hurt. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), nearly 70 percent of victims are drivers of passenger vehicles. Another 15 percent of the victims are pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists.
When taking to the road, residents of and visitors to Nevada face equal risks. Owing to the density and speed of traffic in and around Las Vegas, collisions take place often near the city. But, as noted late last month in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, our state has one of the highest accident rates on rural roads, as well.
The causes of crashes
It does not take much Googling to learn how common truck crashes are in Nevada. Weekly news reports are studded with updates about accident victims. It’s difficult to know, on a given day, how many lanes will be closed on I-15 because of a wreck.
The IIHS details that braking capability is a factor in several truck crashes; it takes a loaded tractor-trailer up to 40 percent more roadway than a traditional car to come to a safe stop. Other factors contributing to such accidents include:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Poor driving conditions
- Improperly maintained roadway construction sites
- A truck driver’s inability to see a passenger car or pedestrian in its mirrors
- Tire blow-outs
- Truck mechanical failure
As many already know, it’s important to be cautious while on the road.
What to do after an accident
Auto-accident-related injuries and deaths have increased every year in Nevada since 2012. As the state remains a hub for road-trippers and other travelers, it’s unlikely to see the numbers diminish any time soon.
Victims and their family members should consider working with an attorney, who can help them obtain compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other related expenses. Meanwhile, many are waiting for the trucking industry itself to improve its safety standards.