Fighting for Victims of Tractor-Trailer Accidents in Pennsylvania
Truck accidents are among the worst events on Pennsylvania highways. PennDOT data suggests that 1 in 3 truck accidents in 2017 resulted in an injury. In Lancaster County alone, there were 22 heavy-truck crashes that resulted in a fatality or a catastrophic injury. Despite the rest of the state experiencing fewer trucking fatalities than we did in 2016, Lancaster actually got worse. The number of Lancaster truck fatalities in 2017 is more than double the same statistic from 2015.
Why do truck accidents cause so much more pain and injury than other accidents? One of the reasons is sheer size. A "heavy truck" weighs 10,000 pounds or more, while a fully-loaded tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds—the weight of an empty train car. Impact at any speed from an 18-wheeler is going to cause serious consequences. However, there's more to the story.
If you were hurt in a truck accident, speak with a Lancaster trucking attorney at Handler, Henning & Rosenberg to learn your legal options. Call (717) 775-7579, or keep reading to learn why trucking accidents in Lancaster are getting worse.
The Culture of Hard-Driving
Truck drivers are paid by the mile, meaning their entire lives revolve around hauling for as far and as fast as they can. Shipping companies prefer it this way—it ensures that the risks and costs of non-driving work are passed along to the driver.
"Non-driving" work includes:
- Submitting to federally-mandated truck inspections
- Waiting for loading and unloading
- Driving empty trailers (flying canaries) to pick up new loads
- Planning routes to save time
The danger of this arrangement is that drivers can spend their entire day in the driver's seat and owe money to shipping companies. As a result, truckers push themselves to keep longer and longer hours to make ends meet. Some drivers learn from unscrupulous trucking schools to keep two hours-of-service logbooks, so they'll always appear to be complying with federal law.
This behavior results in thousands of exhausted truck drivers operating thousands of pounds of machinery traveling at 60mph. To call that a deadly combination is not hyperbole—about 1 in 4 truck crashes happened when the driver was hauling for longer than 17 hours. At least 13 percent of truck accidents were caused by fatigue (but experts think the real number is higher).
Call Our Lancaster Trucking Law Firm for Help
Since 1922, Handler, Henning & Rosenberg has stood up for injured people in Lancaster. Our team of truck accident attorneys has helped countless people get the money they needed for medical care, replacement income, and financial stability. If you want to know why your crash happened—and what you can do about it—share your story with our team.
In a free, confidential consultation, you'll be able to explore your options with an experienced trucking lawyer. If we can help you build a case, we'll do it without any upfront cost to you. If you don't win, you owe us nothing—if you win, we'll win together.
Schedule your consultation today—call (717) 775-7579 or contact us online to get answers from a seasoned trial lawyer.
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