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Each year, at least half a million people are involved in big rig accidents

Being involved in an accident with a big rig can happen on any major road.

We read about motorists being involved in an accident with a semi tractor trailer, or some other large commercial trucking unit, but rarely do we put that one incident into perspective. Across the nation, there are over 500,000 people that tangle with big rigs every year. The outcome is never good and those that survive typically have catastrophic injuries that affect the rest of their lives. It is rare that someone walks away from a big rig wreck unharmed.

What causes so many accidents with 18-wheelers? There are a number of common causes, and some of them may shock you. The number one reason that truckers get involved in an accident is drug use. Recent figures indicate that roughly 26 percent of truckers in an accident are taking prescription or street drugs. It goes without saying that if someone is driving under the influence of drugs, it can impair their thinking, judgment and reaction time.

Another 23 percent of 18-wheeler accidents are caused by speeding. Many drivers can attest to being on a highway and having a huge rig breeze by them, almost as if they were standing still. Increased speed means an increase in time needed to stop an 80,000 pound behemoth. The faster they are going, the longer it takes to stop. The mess and carnage they create if they run into a line of waiting cars at a construction zone is the stuff horror movies is made of.

Big rigs, like cars, have blind spots, and many drivers just don’t check them often enough, or check them at all, particularly when they are about to make a turn or back up. In some ways this is odd, as all truckers are taught in driving school that over 14 percent of truck accidents are because the drivers do not check blind spots properly.

Sleep deprivation is another cause for big rig accidents, which is not much of a surprise given the nature of what a long-haul trucker does —- drives for miles under orders from head office to get the load there on time. If “on time” means not sleeping now and then, that is how it gets done. This is an accident looking for a place to happen.

Modern technology does not help trucking accident statistics. In fact, it escalates them as truckers text while they drive, use cell phones while piloting their rig down the road, fiddle with GPS tools, watch a movie or surf on a laptop or iPhone. One second of distraction sets them up to lose control of their vehicle, and the consequences may be serious injuries or death for them and the person they hit. If it isn’t technological distractions, it’s road rage. The fact is, fully 7 percent of trucking accidents are the result of road rage.

Big rig wrecks leave people’s lives in shambles. If you have been in an accident with a heavy commercial vehicle, do not wait to call an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer. If you want justice and compensation to provide the necessities of medical care for you, an Atlanta personal injury lawyer is your voice in court.

Stephen M. Ozcomert is an experienced personal injury lawyer in Atlanta Georgia. To learn more, visit or call (404)-370-1000.

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