Trucking accidents are a major concern on America’s interstates, causing thousands of injuries and fatalities each year. This blog post explores the factors that lead to these accidents, citing facts and figures from reputable government sources to provide a comprehensive understanding of the issue.
Everyone should be cognizant of these factors so all of us can take appropriate steps to improve road safety and reduce the number of trucking accidents. Deldar Legal believes in securing fair compensation for the victims of trucking accidents. But if we as a society can reduce trucking accidents altogether, everyone will benefit from having safer interstates.
Five main factors that lead to trucking accidents on the interstate:
1. Driver Fatigue
One of the leading causes of trucking accidents is driver fatigue. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 13% of truck crashes involve a fatigued driver. Long hours on the road can lead to drowsy driving, impaired reaction times, and an increased likelihood of accidents.
Federal regulations mandate that truck drivers can only work for a maximum of 11 hours within a 14-hour period, after which they must take a 10-hour break. Despite these regulations, fatigue remains a significant problem in the trucking industry.
Speeding is another major factor in trucking accidents. It not only increases the risk of accidents but also makes them more severe due to the increased force of impact. To combat this issue, some trucking companies have implemented speed limiters on their vehicles, limiting the maximum speed to improve safety for everyone on the roadway.
3. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving, including texting and other forms of mobile phone use, is a significant cause of trucking accidents. In 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 3,552 people were killed as a result of distracted driving. In response to the inherent danger that distracted driving poses, many states have ratified laws that prohibit commercial drivers from texting or using handheld mobile devices while operating a vehicle.
Driving across multiple states can also increase the chances of distracted driving because the rules of the road are different. For example, California allows motorcycles to perform what is called lane splitting. This is when motorcyclists weave between cars in traffic along the dotted white lines in order to ease congestion. Truck drivers unfamiliar with California laws are more likely to be distracted.
4. Substance Abuse
Substance abuse involving drugs and alcohol impairs a truck driver’s ability to safely operate their vehicle. America’s interstates witness impaired judgment, slowed reaction times, and decreased motor control from such abuse. Sadly, this leads to catastrophic trucking accidents. The solution comes from stringent policies set by trucking companies and regulatory bodies.
These include strict zero-tolerance policies, comprehensive training and awareness programs, and a strong emphasis on the importance of driver health and wellbeing. Addressing the issue of substance abuse head-on in the trucking industry is a massive step toward reducing trucking accidents nationwide.
5. Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Large trucks and commercial vehicles require constant upkeep and diligent attention to their mechanical state to ensure safe operation. Truck maintenance issues such as brake problems, tire blowouts, and other mechanical failures can suddenly manifest in the midst of a journey, transforming an otherwise safe vehicle into a potential hazard on the road.
Maintenance isn’t just about preventing trucking accidents. It’s also about ensuring the longevity and efficiency of these vehicles. As essential cogs in the wheel of America’s logistics and supply chain systems, regular inspections, preemptive replacements of worn-out parts, and a thorough understanding of each vehicle’s unique needs are all part of a robust maintenance strategy.
Personal Injury Assistance
It’s important to protect your legal rights after any type of trucking accident. Injuries sustained in an trucking accident can cause permanent damage and permanently affect your daily life. Call Deldar Legal at (844) 335-3271 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation. Our experienced aviation trucking accident lawyers serve accident victims throughout California.