By William Bill Hurst

Semi-truck, tractor- trailer and commercial vehicle accidents in the United States continue to rise.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that over 100,000 people sustain serious personal injuries, and over 5,000 people die in these crashes annually.  The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) compiles statistics and reports for truck-driving accidents in the United States and attempts to identify and correct hazards that face truck drivers.  Even insignificant driving errors can result in consequences where a small vehicle is in a collision with an eighteen wheeler (18-wheeler) which can result in catastrophic injuries.  Many drivers fail to understand that trucks have limited field of vision on their right side and that large trucks traveling at high speeds cause a draft which can pull a vehicle into the danger zone or cause an automobile to over correct and run into the truck or off the road.

In Indiana, investigation of truck accident statistics involving 18-wheelers, semi-tractor trucks or large trucks have been compiled by the Center of Criminal Justice Research based upon National Highway Traffic Safety Administrative studies as well as the Indiana State Police Automated Report Information Exchange System.  In prior years, one in every six fatal traffic collisions involved large trucks.  This was based on traffic collision trends between 2004 and 2008.  The summer months show the highest number of total large truck collisions and the highest number of fatal collisions involving them.  Over 50% of the collisions occurred on interstates with the least likely roads for them to occur on Indiana County Roads.  32% of the fatal collisions reviewed occurred on State Roads and 30% on Interstates.  Between 2004 and 2008 there was a gradual increase in involving fatal collisions occurred.  The Indiana Officers Standard Crash Report requires investigating officers to indicate the primary contributing factor for the collision.  In fatal collisions involving large trucks that were reviewed by the Center, 27% of the large truck drivers contributed to the occurrence compared with 64% for other vehicular types.  Large trucks were 2.5 times more likely than drivers of other vehicles to be attributed to the occurrence of the collision in instances where distracted driving was listed as the primary factor.  In total collisions between 2004 and 2008, involving large trucks where speeding was a factor, the large truck involved was reportedly speeding about half of the time. is sad, but in most large truck, semi-tractor trailer, 18-wheeler accidents involving an automobile, it is the car and it’s passengers that come out the loser.  There have been numerous examples of this in recent times in Indiana.

On March 1, 2011 a semi-truck that was driven by a 41year-Indiana operator was issued a citation for failure to control his vehicle after he rear-ended a pickup truck on I-77 South.  The driver of the pickup truck was transported to St. Joseph hospital and all of the passengers in the pickup truck from Waverly, Indiana were taken to Candem Park Memorial Hospital after the accident.  In this case, the injuries were not life threatening, however in a Jackson County, Indiana accident on February 25, 2011, a Michigan man was killed on I-65 in Jackson County.  The police described this as a horrific crash.  On that date, three people called to report a speeding driver, weaving along the road just south of Seymour.  This car collided around the 37-mile marker in Jackson County with a semi-truck.  The driver of the car was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the seen.  The driver of the semi-truck, who was not at fault, had no injury whatsoever.  In a recent Indianapolis collision between an automobile and a semi-tractor trailer, an Indianapolis Public School thirteen-year old girl was killed.  The child died at the seen of the accident.  This accident happened on the Southwest side of Indianapolis.

Clearly truck drivers are professional and generous and some of the best drivers on the road, but the areas behind and beside large trucks are hazardous areas where drivers should proceed with great caution.  It’s clear when semi trailers are involved in accidents with smaller vehicles, the forces generated by the collision are so tremendous that serious injuries and death often occur.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a semi-tractor trailer accident resulting in serious injury contact our office or call William “Bill” Hurst at (800) 636-0808 for a free consultation.  Our office has successfully represented thousands of clients injured by Big Rigs.

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Bill Hurst has successfully represented hundreds of accident victims, and has limited his practice to personal injury cases for over thirty-five (35) years. Bill has helped families with tragic life altering injuries and deaths. Bill has obtained substantial verdicts and settlements to compensate families for their losses. He is a graduate, with honors, from Indiana University School of Law. He has served on the Executive Committee and is a Director Emeritus of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. He has published articles on various personal injury topics and has lectured at various legal seminars. Bill is listed in Naifeh and Smith, The Best Lawyers in America and has been for over ten (10) years, Bill is selected as a “Super Lawyer” by the Indianapolis Monthly Magazine from its first publication in 2002 to its most recent; he was selected as one of Indiana’s Top 100 Lawyers by the American Trial Lawyers Association. In 2000, Bill was named the Indiana Trial Lawyer Of The Year by the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. Bill has the highest rating given by Martindale Hubble, as does his law firm. Bill has extensive litigation experience involving automobile, truck, motorcycle, bike accidents, slip and fall cases, product and manufacturing failures, dangerous drugs, product design, construction site accidents and more. He has represented clients not only in Indiana but also throughout the Country. Bill successfully represented the State of Indiana in the Tobacco Litigation. He has been involved in mass tort litigation, representing all women in the State of Indiana in the Norplant litigation, breast implant litigation, and represents represented numerous clients in the Vioxx litigation. Bill believes that every case is unique and requires special personal attention. You may email him at or call (800) 636-0808 for a free consultation.