How Prone are Truckers to Getting Into Car Accidents?
The number of truck accidents is on the rise in the United States. While advances have been made in terms of trucking safety, it is not enough. The safety features are balanced by the lack of experienced truckers, crowded highways and the need to get your goods to market quickly. Let’s explore truck accidents and the ways that they impact highway travel.
The Severity of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries. The average truck weighs 80,000 pounds fully loaded while a passenger vehicle comes in at 4,000 or less. This discrepancy results in a greater risk to occupants of passenger vehicles. In fact, the majority of injuries and deaths in passenger vehicles significantly supersedes that of truck drivers and their passengers.
Why Are Truckers Involved in Accidents?
There are roughly 1,900,000 truck jobs in the United States each year. In 2015, truckers were involved in 415,000 crashes, and 4,050 truck accidents were fatal during that year. There were also 87,000 injuries reported. Six out of 10 truck accidents occurred on rural roads, and 83 percent happened on weekends. In addition, 25 percent of the truck accidents were on interstates.
There are several reasons truckers are involved in so many accidents. Some of the most common are:
- Driver errors: Truckers are not immune from making errors as they navigate the roadways. Many times, this happens because the truckers are not properly trained. In addition, some truckers also may use illicit or OTC drugs or alcohol, which leads to bad decisions.
- Poor maintenance: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that 40 percent of all truck accidents are due to a lack of proper maintenance. Such things as poor brakes and worn tires cause many accidents. If the trucking company failed to provide proper maintenance and that caused an accident where someone was injured, they may be held responsible. Likewise, if an outside mechanic performs maintenance checks and repairs and makes a mistake, they can be sued for their negligence.
- Poor driver vetting: The trucking company must vet a new driver fully. This includes checking to see if they have been in previous accidents.
- Bad road maintenance: Cities and states have a responsibility to adequately maintain the roads from repairing potholes to other accident-causing problems. If this is not done, an injured party can file a claim against the city or state. It is important to remember that this type of claim has a shorter deadline after which the case will not be heard. Your injury attorney will be able to ensure that all documents are filed on time.
- Fatigued driving: Truckers drive long hours without rest. Although there are federal rules that limit the number of hours they can drive, many do not adhere to them. Instead, they give into a trucking company’s demands to get the product to market in the shortest time.
Olinde Law Firm
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you have the right to receive the compensation you deserve. The Olinde Law Firm will investigate your case and help you move forward. Just call us at (800) 587-1889 to set up a free case review. You will be able to meet with our legal team and ask questions of our injury lawyers. You can also contact us online.