The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that there are more than 3,000 fatal crashes and 100,000 other crashes involving large trucks in the United States each year. Considering the huge number of trucks on the roads transporting needed goods throughout the country, a significant number of accidents are inevitable. Nonetheless, an awareness of the common causes of truck accidents can help us to avoid them.
The FMCSA conducted an important study in 2007 on truck safety which emphasized a number of factors that are still helpful today:
- Driver exhaustion. With pressure to make deadlines, driving drowsy is more common among truck drivers than other drivers. Given the size and weight of a large truck, the danger is magnified.
- Truck driver error. Though many trucks have signs communicating that their drivers have limited visibility on the side, many car drivers do not realize this. Truck drivers often cannot see other drivers making common driving techniques are more difficult, leading to more mistakes.
- Error by other drivers. When a car driver stops short, swerves, or does something dangerous on the road, another car may be able to avoid the hazard. Because of its size, a truck is much slower to respond and is therefore more likely to crash in these situations.
- Drug use. Two of the top ten factors cited by the FMCSA involved prescription and over-the-counter drug use. The long hours of a truck driver’s lifestyle often lead to a lack of exercise and an intake of unhealthy food. Many truck drivers suffer from obesity and other health related ailments. The medications they take to treat these ailments are a significant risk factor in trucking accidents, along with illegal substances taken to keep them awake and driving when they should be resting.
If you have been in an accident involving a truck, contact us for a consultation and review of your case to see how we can help get you the compensation you deserve.