Truck crashes happen every day on Washington roads and highways. Nationally, deadly truck crashes are a major public health and safety problem. Since 2009, the number of truck crashes has increased by 45%—resulting in a 57% increase in truck crash injuries and a 20% increase in truck crash fatalities. In 2015, in the United States truck crashes killed 4,067 people and 116,000 more were injured. Trucks are so dangerous that the United States Department of Labor consistently ranks driving a truck as one of the ten most dangerous jobs in America.
One of the problems faced by truck drivers—and all drivers—is the poor condition of some of our highways and roads. The American Society of Civil Engineers released its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, which found that 20% of the nation’s highways had poor pavement conditions. Moreover, one in 11 of the nation’s bridges were structurally deficient. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that $142 billion in capital investment would be needed on an annual basis over the next 20 years to significantly improve conditions and performance.
In Washington, we are all too familiar with examples of aging and defective roads, highways, and bridges. In 2013, the Skagit River Bridge on I-5 collapsed after a truck struck a structural beam. Recently, KOMO News ran a story about how I-90 just East of Snoqualmie Pass has gained a national reputation for huge dangerous potholes. View the KOMO news story here.
The combination of huge trucks and aging, dangerous roads is just one of the reasons driving the increase in deadly truck crashes. The demands of our economy will likely continue to increase the number of trucks on our roads. Unless our lawmakers begin to take a close look at truck safety laws, the number of truck crashes will likely continue to increase.
If you are involved in a serious truck collision, you need a legal advocate on your side. Truck crashes are becoming a cost of doing business. Due to the frequency of serious truck collisions, the trucking industry already has lawyers ready and waiting to assist them. If you have been involved in a truck crash, give us a call for a free consultation at 206-527-2000.