NH Truck Accidents Lawyers Attorneys

New Hampshire Truck Accidents

The good news is, that according to official statistics, the state of New Hampshire maintains a relatively low accident death rate when it comes to collisions involving semi-trucks, especially when compared to other states within the United States. Between the years of 1996-2000, there were 63 deaths whose causes were contributed to collisions involving semis. Unfortunately, these accidents do still occur, and each year, they produce serious injuries, and even death, for the victims involved. If a New Hampshire state resident, or a loved one, has been involved in this type of accident, and they were not at fault, then they are entitled to monetary compensation for their injuries.

Semi-trucks are frequently referred to as “tractor trailers” and “big rigs”. The average big rig will range from 65-75 feet in length and weigh an average of 80,000 pounds. The tremendous size differential between a commercial tractor trailer and a standard passenger vehicle makes it simple to visualize the catastrophic results that are produced when the two collide. For example, a semi-truck, weighing approximately 80,000 pounds, is traveling at 65 mph. This truck would require an additional 100 feet of space to stop when compared to a semi-truck of the same size that was only traveling at 55 mph. While rear end collisions are the most common type of big rig accident, brake failure, jackknifed trailers, and right hand squeeze are also frequently seen on New Hampshire roadways.

According to statistics recently released by the U.S. Department of Transportation, approximately 500,000 trucking accidents occur in the United States each year. Roughly 5,000 of these accidents result in fatalities. One out of every eight accidents involving a semi-truck results in a fatality; however, 98% of the fatalities that occur in these accidents happen to the drivers and passengers in passenger vehicles.

It is a common misconception that the majority of semi-truck accidents occur in cities. In actuality, 68% of all fatal tractor trailer accidents occur in rural settings. An estimated 66% of these accidents occur during the daytime hours, as opposed to evenings, and in 2003, 78% of all fatal truck accidents took place on the weekend.

There are a number of reasons that why truck accidents do occur. Consider the following reasons:

  • Driver intoxication
  • Faulty or defective truck parts
  • Insufficient maintenance
  • Untrained truck mechanics
  • Shifting cargo/weight imbalances
  • Overweight trucks

However, the most common cause for these accidents is truck driver fatigue. In some estimates, truck driver fatigue has accounted for as much as 40% of all semi-truck related accidents. Truck drivers are often subjected to strenuous deadlines, long hours on the road, and rigorous, strict schedules. When a truck driver becomes seriously sleep deprived, it can significantly impair their judgment, and because the commercial vehicles they drive are so large, the results are all the more catastrophic when they are involved in an accident.

Fatigue is defined as exhaustion, lack of sleep, or debilitating tiredness. It can be a combination of any of these factors. A truck driver who is fatigued can lose the ability to adequately gauge just how tired they are. For an exhausted truck driver, it is quite simple for them to fall asleep or nod off behind the wheel of their commercial vehicle. Commercial trucks are heavy, large machines, and when they are barreling down an interstate at 70 miles an hour without the control of a driver, accidents will occur.

The number of fatigue related semi-truck accidents has been on the rise for the last decade. To address this problem, the federal government has altered the duty hours and rules for semi-truck drivers. Although it took nearly 60 years for these new changes to be implemented, the new laws state that a truck driver cannot drive for more than 11 hours consecutively without taking a 10 hour break immediately following. Truck drivers cannot work shifts that exceed 14 hours in length total, and only 11 of these hours may be spend on the roadways.

In spite of the new federal laws and rules, which were established for the safety of truck drivers and other motorists on the road, not all trucking companies and truck drivers are complying with them. Federal regulations require semi-truck drivers to maintain logs of all of the hours they spend driving, but it is not difficult to falsify these log books. Thus, log books cannot be relied upon as a trustworthy indicator of the real number of hours a driver is spending on the road.

New Hampshire state residents who have been involved in an accident with a tractor trailer immediately should engage the services of a New Hampshire truck accident lawyer. These lawyers specialize in truck accident litigation and truck-related wrongful death claims. In choosing a professional and experienced NH truck accident attorney, a plaintiff can have their legal claim quickly and efficiently evaluated to determine if they are eligible for compensation.

The statutes that govern trucking regulations and litigation vary from one state to the next, which is why it is imperative for a victim to solicit the services of truck accident attorneys who are well-versed in New Hampshire state law. This is where our law firm can step in to be of assistance. By working closely with our clients, we will ensure that our clients receive the compensation they are entitled too. Your initial consultation is 100% free. Please give us a call today. Our attorneys are here to help you.