Every day, our accident attorneys see a large number of accidents caused by truckers who are distracted on their cell phone, with their music, with their partners or just fatigued from the hours they’re spending on the roadways.
Of course, the causes of accidents involving large trucks vary greatly. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration conducted a study in 2007 in an effort to pinpoint the top causes of large truck crashes and they found that out of just a small sample of 120,000 large truck crashes, at least one person died.
Even more shocking is that In nearly 80 percent of these cases, one of these large trucks was pulling one semi-trailer and in 5 percent of the cases, the trucks were hauling materials deemed hazardous. Interesting, right?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also found during the study that in about 75 percent of these crashes, the truck struck another vehicle.
When investigators look into the causes of each crash individually, they sometimes have to analyze what might have been happening the hours, days or even months leading up to the crash. Why? Because crashes in many cases can involve elements such as driver fatigue, driver training, (or the lack thereof) and experience, or the design and manufacturing of the vehicle itself.
We found that in the cases where the driver of the truck was responsible, the top ten reasons for a resulting crash were:
1. Problems with the brakes on the rig;
2. Traffic congestion from a prior vehicle collision;
3. The use and/or abuse of prescription drugs;
4. Driving over or under the speed limit;
5. Unfamiliarity with the route;
6. Issues on the roadway or involving the roadway;
7. A required stop, such as a traffic light or crosswalk;
8. Over-the-counter drug use and/or abuse;
9. Inattention of the driver;
10. Fatigue from hours on the road
It’s important that every individual managing any vehicle is certain that they are awake and alert before operating any sort of motor vehicle. You’re taking not only your own life into your hands but also that of your passengers and the other drivers on the roadway, so stay cautious, make sure you’ve gotten enough sleep and if you’re on prescription or over the counter drugs, talk to your doctor before operating a motor vehicle. Let’s keep the roads safe!