April 29, 2024
Trucking Accident

Alabama’s trucking industry is essential to the state’s commerce and workforce. Drivers of large trucks and tractor-trailers held 34,630 jobs in Alabama in 2021, and 86.1% of communities rely exclusively on trucks to move their goods.

These vehicles transport 161,180 tons of product per day, supporting the state’s economy and small and large businesses.

However, accidents are unfortunately a reality due to the number of semi-trucks on the road in Alabama. Knowing why these accidents occur can help us all stay safer and avoid catastrophic collisions. Our Alabama truck accident lawyers can help you get fair compensation if you are hurt in a truck crash.

Statistical Data and Trends

Commercial trucks weigh more than 10,001 pounds and can include delivery trucks, 18-wheelers, tow trucks, or work trucks. According to the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), there were 8,579 trucks involved in accidents in 2020. 130 of these crashes were fatal, and 2,330 resulted in injuries.

Some of the primary causes of truck accidents in Alabama in 2020 were:

CauseNumber of Crashes
Improper Lane Change or Use      1,138
Failure to Yield Right of Way871
Unseen Object, Person, or Vehicle699
Misjudged Stopping Distance386
Defective Equipment344
Improper Backing306
Improper Turn292
Driving Too Fast for Conditions244

Common Causes of Trucking Accidents

Recent data from ALDOT identifies key contributors to trucking accidents as fatigue, issues with maintenance, distracted driving, and less-than-ideal road conditions. Let’s examine these factors more closely:  

  • Driver Fatigue: With long hours on the road contributing to lapses in attention and reaction time, driver fatigue is responsible for 1.9% of truck accidents in Alabama. Despite regulations limiting driving hours, some truck drivers exceed these limits, leading to fatigue-related accidents.
  • Vehicle Maintenance Issues: Defective equipment, often an indicator of vehicle maintenance issues, is responsible for 4.0% of truck collisions in Alabama. Improperly maintained brakes, tires, and other essential components can result in catastrophic failures on the road.
  • Distracted Driving: Distracted driving poses a major threat on Alabama’s roads. With the rise of smartphones and other electronic devices, many truck drivers succumb to distractions behind the wheel, diverting their attention from the road and increasing the likelihood of accidents.

Although ALDOT doesn’t track these crashes specifically, crashes due to improper lane changes, failing to yield, or not seeing a person or object can happen when a driver is distracted. Together, these make up 31.6% of truck crashes in the state.

  • Poor Road Conditions: Inadequate signage, poorly marked construction zones, and neglected infrastructure contribute to hazardous driving conditions, especially during adverse weather. For instance, driving too fast for conditions resulted in 2.8% of truck collisions in Alabama in 2020.

Why Location Matters

Location plays a role in the occurrence of large truck accidents in Alabama. Here’s a breakdown of where they happen:

  • The highest percentage of truck crashes happen on interstates, at 28.7%
  • 24% of truck crashes take place on city roads
  • 18.9% of big rig collisions occur on state routes

This pattern highlights the risks associated with various road types in the state.

Overall, the Northern, Central, and Southern regions tend to see the most crashes in Alabama. In 2020, these were the most dangerous counties:

  • Jefferson County had the highest rate of accidents with 108 crashes
  • The highest in the North Region was 43 in Madison County
  • Mobile County had 60 crashes in the Southwest Region
  • Montgomery County had the highest in the Southeast Region at 36.

Recently, there has been a national move to help combat trucking accidents. The American truck industry has spent $9.5 billion annually in safety training and awareness to help lower the incidence of collisions. Alabama has also put money toward programs to improve driver training, implement safety technologies, and promote safety initiatives statewide.

Protect Your Right to Compensation After a Large Truck Crash

If you’re injured in a big rig crash when traveling in Alabama, our team at the Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers can stand up for your interests against aggressive trucking companies and their insurers.

With over two decades of legal experience, we can help you gather evidence and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn your legal options.

Related Articles

January 1, 2024
Trucking Accident
The trucking industry is the lifeblood of our nation’s economy, responsible for transporting goods that keep businesses running and store shelves stocked. However, this vital industry faces a significant challenge: road fatigue among truck drivers. Driver fatigue impacts road safety, endangering both truck drivers and other road users. Approximately 13% of all injuries and fatalities […]
View Article
October 16, 2023
Trucking Accident
Eighteen-wheelers are an indispensable part of Alabama’s transportation industry, carrying goods throughout the state. These big rigs rely on complex braking systems to bring up to 80,000 lbs. to a stop within a reasonable distance. While these systems are often reliable, malfunctions can occur, endangering other motorists on the road. Accidents caused by 18-wheeler brake […]
View Article
The Vance Law Firm