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Increased big rig speed on highways may account for more accidents

The good news is that the number of car accidents has gone down. The bad news is that the number of big rig wrecks is on the rise.

There are a number of factors at play during a car accident — anything from texting while driving to mechanical failure. And yet, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is indicating that fatal accidents are down 1.9 percent since 2010. This is good news. The bad news is that on the other side of the statistics column is an increase in truck accident deaths.

A closer look at the car collision numbers indicates that for the first time since 1949, when these types of figures were first recorded, U.S. car accidents are at an all-time low. In 2011, there were 32,367 deaths, and while this sounds on the high side, it is much lower that previous years, sparking hope that drivers are getting the message to drive with due care and attention.

As for tractor trailer units, or big rigs, between 2010 and 2011, the number of fatal accidents jumped by 20 percent— from 530 in 2010 to 635 in 2011. Anytime figures like this take a jump, it is not a good sign. Although these numbers relate to fatal accidents, the number of injury accidents involving trucks also shot up by 15 percent. The cause is a mystery. However there are many industry pundits, and those in law enforcement, that speculate when speed limits for trucks were raised, more accidents followed. Add in the fact that there are now more trucks on the road than ever, and the results may be self-explanatory.

It’s not just speed that kills.  Drivers on the highways need to be aware that truckersare human. This opens the door for things like speeding, texting while driving, falling asleep while behind the wheel, distracted driving, improperly lashed down loads, or the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The causes are many. The results, should something go wrong, are a disaster.

It’s a fact that when a passenger vehicle gets into an accident with a large transport truck, that the truck wins. There are very few survivors in an accident such as this, and those who do make it out alive, are seriously injured to the extent that their lives may never be the same again – ever. They face years of medical care, pain, suffering, depression and rehabilitation— an expensive proposition to say the least.

If you have been involved in an accident with a big rig, reach out and contact an experienced Austin injury lawyer. If you want compensation for your injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and so on, an Austin injury lawyer is the one to take your case to court— your voice seeking justice when you need it the most.

Brooks Schuelke is an Austin personal injury attorney with Perlmutter & Schuelke PLLC. Contact an Austin injury lawyer at or (512) 476-4944.

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