It’s March 28 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and the snowflakes are falling fat and fast. It’s wet snow, so it’ll accumulate quickly in the grass and shrubs. But it’s warm enough that the streets in town will probably stay wet and clear.
The streets out of town, however, and on our highways, could see some quick buildup. Tires and heavy trucks will compact it and the warm air will make it wet and slick. If it stays warm, it might turn into slush, but if the sun goes down, ice will abound. And if the storm turns angry, low visibility will compound the problem. The weather makes for great skiing conditions (I’m planning a trip to Steamboat right now, in fact), but not so much for driving.
Although we appreciate the transportation and trucking industry in the great western states of Wyoming and Colorado, being sandwiched between semi-trucks can be nerve-wracking, to say the least. If the drivers in front and back and next to you are inexperienced, poorly trained, tired, cocky, or in a hurry, you’re in harm’s way.
Too many trucking accidents in Wyoming and Colorado are avoidable. They are often the result of truck drivers violating nationwide or state standards regarding the safe operation of commercial vehicles. They are the result of drivers not being properly trained and educated, or drivers and trucking companies motivated more by money than safety.
One out of every eight car accident fatalities involve large trucks.
When a commercial truck is involved in an accident, 86 percent of fatalities and 77 percent of those injured are the drivers and passengers of the smaller vehicles involved in the crash.
Commercial trucking accidents have been increasing since the early 1990’s.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation issued the following figures in its latest traffic accident report for 2016:
There were 13,846 crashes in Wyoming in 2016, 100 of which were fatal, and 2,457 of which resulted in injury.
713 of the crashes were alcohol-related, and of those, 302 resulted in injury and 28 resulted in death.
Tractor trailers or semi-trucks (light, medium, and heavy) were involved in 20 of the 100 fatal crashes.
Tractor trailers or semi-trucks were involved in 270 of the 2,457 crashes that caused injury.
What to Do if You’ve Been Involved in a Trucking Accident
If you’re involved in a trucking accident and you’re conscious, you’re likely to be confused, traumatized, and injured. Your injuries are likely to be serious. Thus, your first step is to call 9-1-1 and get medical attention. If you’re able to document the crash or the aftermath with photos or video, do so, but your first concern must be your health.
Your next step is to hire a trucking accident attorney. Unlike a typical car accident at a city intersection, trucking accidents implicate federal and state regulations and safety standards and often require engineers and other experts to reconstruct the scene, download and interpret electronic data, and investigate the employment and driver files of the trucking companies. There can also be issues with vicarious liability, lease agreements between drivers and companies, and issues regarding apportionment of fault. You will absolutely need an experienced truck accident attorney to represent your interests and navigate the complexities of your trucking accident case in order to give you the best chance of getting the compensation you deserve. And while your attorney is focusing on maximizing your recovery, you can focus on treatment and recovery.