An overwhelming number of traffic accidents occur on American roads every single day. A good portion of those accidents involve a truck and another vehicle, and the number of fatal casualties where a truck was involved was nearly 5,000 in 2017. Most of the major causes of truck accidents are driver-error related.
Companies rely on trucks to transport their goods from state to state. It’s just the way the economy works. We are heavily reliant on trucks to provide us with gas, food, and commodities to our communities so they can run properly.
As we mentioned, the fatal casualty numbers in 2017 were very high, and the number was similar for 2018 as well. Nearly 70% of truck accidents resulted in fatal casualties. Trucks account for a small percentage of vehicles on the roads, only 4%. But 1 in 10 traffic deaths involves a truck.
A car stands no chance when colliding with a truck that weighs 80,000 pounds. This is because of your average car weights are nearly 20x less than your average semi-loaded truck. When a force of 80,000 pounds collides with a 3,000-pound vehicle, the chances of the car driver and its occupants surviving are very slim.
Common Truck Accident Causes
We mentioned that driver errors are the most common causes of truck accidents while on the road. Driver errors were the cause of nearly 1/3 of all accidents in 2018. Driver errors can be multiple things; they can be speeding, distraction, failure to yield right of way, careless driving, and impairment. Only 5% of all truck accidents were due to vehicle-related problems such as brake problems or various other issues. Judging by these numbers we can safely say that driver error is the contributing factor in most fatal crashes involving large trucks. If you happened to be a driver involved in an accident involving a truck, click here to find out how to get compensated and how to claim it.
Truckers work very long hours, desperately trying to get to their destination on time. Often times, they don’t even sleep, and that causes fatigue. Fatigue is a very serious and real problem in the trucking industry. Many truckers take short naps just to cope with it, but in all seriousness, they require an extended sleep to restore their bodies and minds to optimum functioning levels.
Per day, a trucker gets 4,8 hours of sleep. On average, truckers experience a 6-minute interval of drowsiness per day while behind the wheel, which can be devastating.
A study involving 120,000 truck-related accidents found out that 15% of the accidents were caused by driver fatigue.
Hours of Service
Due to the serious issue involving driver fatigue, the federal government has come up with a solution to the problem. The Hours of Service were introduced to the trucking industry and it requires drivers to comply with its regulations. Each truck driver isn’t allowed to drive more than 11 hours per day. Each driver is required to take a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving. After the driver has clocked the 11th hour, he isn’t allowed to drive for the next 10 hours.
The regulations also forbid drivers to work more than 60 hours in a week, and it forbids them to work 70 hours during an 8 day period. Once truckers hit the 60 or 70-hour limit, they are required to take a 34-hour rest before driving again.
Truck accidents are a major concern on U.S. roads and something that the government is actively trying to solve. If you’ve been in an accident involving a truck, make sure to contact the right people and get advice on what to do next.