According to a recent report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Pennsylvania represents about 10 percent of all the large truck accidents in the United States each year, even though only 6.6 percent of the total vehicles registered in the state are large trucks. The report also indicates that the passengers in a smaller vehicle are almost four times as likely to be injured or killed than the driver of a large truck.
Common reasons for semi truck collisions include unsafe passing or maneuvering by other vehicles on the road, including improper lane changes or "cutting off" the semi. Improper truck maintenance is occasionally a factor as well. Truck driver fatigue may be a contributing factor to a collision in many cases. According to the NHTSA, truck driver alcohol abuse only accounted for about 2 percent of all large truck accidents nationwide in 2012.
Inadequate truck lights and faulty truck parts can often play a role in 18-wheeler collisions, such as faulty or defective tires, air brakes and other safety systems. The NHTSA report says 78 percent of all large truck accidents occur during daylight hours, stated in the report as 6 a.m. to 5:59 p.m. About 82 percent of all fatalities in semi accidents are either passengers in other vehicles or bystanders.
In the event of a Pennsylvania semi accident, the attorney would first examine the evidence from the scene to determine fault and liability. In case of moderate or catastrophic injury or death, the attorney would likely seek compensation for pain and suffering, medical and funeral expenses on the victims' behalf from a number of parties, such as the trucking company, the driver and the manufacturer of faulty truck parts which may have contributed to the accident.