According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, accidents involving massive trucks claim at least 5,000 lives and injure 130,000 more. In the United States more than 500,000 truck accidents occur annually. As a matter of fact, one in every eight traffic deaths involves a trucking collision. This article discusses why the statistics on truck accidents is quite high in the United States and the common causes of these accidents.
Business enterprises, big organizations and agencies of government are very dependent on commercial trucks for cargo transportation. Such trucks can have at least seventy five length and may weigh up to 80,000 pounds. When a truck with this size and weight are involved in accidents, the results are generally devastating and catastrophic. In addition, truck carrying dangerous or volatile materials might magnify the accident.
What are the common causes of truck accidents?
- Driver Fatigue
- Driver without license
- Disobeying Safety Procedure
- Failure to comply to motor vehicle inspection
- Repair & Maintenance Failure
- Vehicle Collisions
- Failure to Yield The Right of Way
- 18 Wheeler Crash
- Loads That Shift Weight
- DUI or Driving Under the Influence/ DWI or Driving While Intoxicated
- Truck Rollover
- Mechanical or Brake Failure
- Tires Impairment
- Transporting Equipment with Trailers
- Overloaded Trucks or Trailers
- Backing Up/Moving In Reverse
It has been observed that more than 75 percent of all truck accidents are mainly caused not by the truck drivers but by the negligence of drivers in smaller cars. In addition, negligence on the part of the truck driver is mainly caused due to stress and fatigue, the inability of the driver to maneuver and brake quickly and his limited vision on the road.
What I want to focus on is the issue of truck driver stress and fatigue as a common cause why trucks are involved in accidents. According to the data gathered by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the General Estimates System (GES), 8.15 percent of all truck-related crashes where caused by driver fatigue.
Truck driver fatigue is defined as the exhausted, sleepy or tired feeling a driver feels while on the road driving. Truck drivers have a very long working hours, strict schedules and stringent unrealistic deadlines. Generally, we can put the blame on the policies of big companies why driver fatigue is a common cause of truck-related accidents. In an effort to meet the stringent deadline and tight schedules of these companies, truck drivers oftentimes curb a lot of road safety rules, such as exceeding the speed limit.
Truck accidents claim a lot of innocent lives in the US. While results might be devastating, one way to put an end to this vicious cycle is a stringent application of the trucking laws. If you are a victim or a family member of truck accident, you may recover for your injuries and property damage if you prove that the driver of the truck committed negligence while driving. Getting a good truck accident lawyer is a key to building a strong case against the driver, the company he is working for or the manufacturer of the truck.