As a general rule, the number of fatal car accidents that take place every year should be decreasing. If you look back over the decades, for instance, you’ll find some of the highest fatality rates in the 1970s. Since then, although the rates do not trend perfectly down, there is an overall downward slope to the statistics.
That’s what makes it so concerning to find that the number of fatal accidents in Missouri this year is up by a stunning 10%. It has fallen in specific areas, such as Springfield, where it is down around 3%. But the statewide fatality totals show that the roads are just getting more dangerous, and experts are asking why this is.
The issue with tractor trailers
One thing that a local police chief mentioned was that many of these accidents involve tractor trailers or 18-wheelers. He noted that there would be cases where a commercial driver simply wouldn’t see a car in the blindspot, and they would sideswipe that vehicle.
But there are also many other types of accidents involving tractor trailers, such as underride accidents or crashes that happen when the vehicles are making wide turns.
Overall, tractor trailers are just so dangerous because of their size. They can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds and they take around 525 feet to come to a stop. This means that a driver who makes a mistake may not be able to halt their vehicle in time. When they do crash into a smaller vehicle, it is more likely that the people within that small passenger vehicle are going to suffer serious injuries or pass away in the accident.
What can you do?
The best thing to do to avoid this outcome yourself is to become a defensive driver. Be especially wary when you are around semi-trucks, and pay careful attention to their blindspots.
But even being a defensive driver doesn’t guarantee that you won’t lose a loved one in an accident or suffer serious injuries yourself. If this does happen, then you need to know about all of the legal options you have.