Injury Accident News – Overall, driving has become much safer in recent decades. New safety features and advancing technologies have reduced the number of deadly auto accidents on the roads.
For example, in 1937, there were 30.8 traffic deaths for every 100,000 people. Currently, the rate is 12.4 motor vehicle accident fatalities per 100,000 people, which is an improvement of 60 percent. On the whole, there are fewer car accident deaths than in previous years.
However, the same can’t be said for truck accidents. Over the past 10 years, the number of fatal truck accidents has started to rise. According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was a 42 percent increase in deadly semi-truck crashes between 2009 and 2017. The report also stated that large trucks and buses were responsible for 12 percent of all fatal traffic accidents.
Why Fatal Truck Accidents Are Increasing
The 2017 report on truck accidents from the NHTSA provides troubling statistics about truck accidents. In 2017 alone, almost 4,800 people died in truck crashes.
Also in 2017, federal and state agencies that regulate roadside inspections for semi-trucks started using a new and technologically advanced system designed to keep track of trucking safety violations. Federal and state authorities hope that the use of this system will help them determine why more fatal accidents are happening.
However, driver error is still the leading cause of the majority of truck accidents. Here are five of the leading causes of deadly truck crashes according to the top New York personal injury law firm.
When a person is tired, their reaction times get slower, and they are less alert while performing a task. While most people probably don’t think of driving as a complicated task, it demands an enormous amount of critical thinking and mental alertness.
Truckers are typically under a great deal of pressure to work long hours. When they’re not actively driving, the carrier companies they work for aren’t making money.
Unfortunately, some carriers push their drivers to bend or break the rules that govern how long a truck driver can drive without stopping to rest. This can cause a trucker to become overly fatigued behind the wheel, which can lead to a serious and catastrophic accident.
Any substance that causes impairment is illegal to use behind the wheel. Many people think the law only prohibits a driver from drinking alcohol or using street drugs while they’re operating a vehicle. However, that’s not the case. It’s possible to become impaired by over the counter cough medicine or prescription drugs which could also interfere with the driver’s ability to stay awake and alert behind the wheel.
Because they work long hours, some truck drivers rely on caffeine supplements or illegal prescription drugs to stay awake. These substances can cause serious impairment and lead to a deadly accident.
Lack of Driver Training
Truck drivers are required by law to complete certain coursework and practical driving courses before they can operate a semi-truck. However, the rules for these educational requirements are often only loosely enforced. Not all truck driver schools follow the law, which means some truck drivers get on the road with minimal training. This lack of experience puts other drivers on the road at even more risk of a fatal accident.
As with regular motor vehicles, speeding is a top cause of fatal accidents involving semi-trucks. Commercial vehicles like 18-wheelers are enormous vehicles that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. They take longer to speed up and accelerate than a regular car, but they also take longer to brake and slow down. When a truck driver breaks the speed limit, they put everyone on the road in danger.
Distracted driving has become a nationwide problem. There’s no getting around the fact that driving a semi-truck can seem monotonous, especially for long haul truck drivers who drive extremely long routes across the country. To alleviate the monotony, they might pick up their phone, check an email, reply to a text, or even watch a movie.
Any of these activities may cause a truck driver to become so distracted they can’t properly keep an eye on the road. These activities can lead to catastrophic accidents involving multiple vehicles with similar types of injuries that happen with bus or MTA accidents.
Anything that pulls a truck driver’s attention away from the road is a possible distraction that can result in a serious truck crash. According to the report from the NHTSA, six percent of all fatal truck accidents involved a distracted truck driver.
Help After a Truck Accident in New York
If you have been injured in a truck accident in New York, it’s important to speak to an accident lawyer in New York City about your case. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. Truck accidents are more complex than regular auto accidents. A New York truck accident lawyer can explain the differences and help you make informed decisions about how to proceed in your case. Call (212) 736-0979 or schedule a free consultation at our office in The Empire State Building to discuss your case today.
Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case. Recoveries always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case, the injuries suffered, damages incurred, and the responsibility of those involved