Commercial trucking is a mode of transportation that is heavily relied on in today’s world. Without trucking as an available method of delivering goods, many businesses would not be able to survive and many people would have to go without important goods and services. But the trade off for the resources these trucks carry can come at a high price. Accidents caused by or involving trucks involve a higher rate of injury or death because of the greater impact of the crash.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation oversees and regulates modes of transportation within the state. This department also regulates the trucking industry to ensure safety on the road. The Department of Transportation heavily regulates the type of drivers that are allowed to drive certain trucks, in addition to regulating the required maintenance of the trucks allowed on the roads within Pennsylvania. The need for these types of regulations becomes apparent when you take a close look at the yearly crash statistics in Pennsylvania.
In 2014, crashes in Pennsylvania involving heavy trucks totaled 6,596 accidents, the highest since 2010. Out of these accidents, 82.2% occurred on highways within the state. These accidents resulted in 136 fatalities, many of which were occupants of the other vehicle involved in the accident. Out of these fatalities only 2.3% of the deaths were truck occupants. Based on these statistics, trucking safety standards are a top priority in order to save lives.
Pennsylvania requires that commercial vehicles and trucks involved in accidents follow the same accident reporting protocol as passenger cars. However, when an accident involving a truck carrying hazardous materials is involved there are specific requirements that must be followed in order to ensure all of the necessary information is reported. These requirements are as follows:
- Stop your vehicle immediately either at the scene or as close to the scene as possible without obstructing traffic;
- Give assistance to injured people, i.e. calling 911;
- Exchange information with the other parties involved including name, address, vehicle registration number, and proof of insurance; and
- If the crash results in any type of person injury or property damage to any vehicle involved to the extent that it must be towed from the scene, the nearest police department must be notified by the quickest means possible
Calling for help immediately will ensure those who are injured receive the necessary medical attention and will minimize secondary injuries from the accidents. In addition, getting the police to the scene quickly will help accurately document the accident, which may help insulate innocent parties from liability.
If you are involved in an accident and no police investigates the crash that you are required to report, there are additional forms that are required to be completed within five days of the accident. Because of the specific reporting requirements and increased risk of liability involved in an accident with a commercial trucking vehicle, it may be in your best interest to contact an experienced Philadelphia Auto Accident Attorney for help and guidance when dealing with the aftermath of an accident.