About 77,000 accidents caused by the direct fault of a commercial truck driver occur each year, according to a report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
It is important to be alert at all times on the road as these accidents are caused by a variety of different factors:
- Prescription Drug Use - 26% of truck accidents are caused by prescription drug use even though the "FMCSA has some additional rules that prohibit the use of legally prescribed controlled substances (such as barbiturates, amphetamines, morphine, etc.) by safety-sensitive drivers involved in interstate commerce."
- Traveling Too Fast - 23% of truck accidents are caused by a direct violation of FMCSA's regulation 392.6, which states "No motor carrier shall schedule a run nor permit nor require the operation of any commercial motor vehicle between points in such period of time as would necessitate the commercial motor vehicle being operated at speeds greater than those prescribed by the jurisdictions in or through which the commercial motor vehicle is being operated."
- Unfamiliar with Roadway - 22% of truck accidents are due to drivers reading a map or directions during travel. The FMCSA posts helpful tips to follow before driving to prevent these very accidents.
- Over-the-Counter Drug Use - Even something as seemingly harmless as cough medicine can be very dangerous while operating a 80,000 pound machine; 18% of truck accidents are caused by over-the-counter medications.
- Inadequate Surveillance - 14% of all truck accidents are caused by truck drivers not being adequately aware of their surroundings. Over 1/3 of all accidents between large trucks and cars take place in the "No-Zone" located in large blind spots. Truck drivers should be fully aware of these limitations and drive with caution accordingly.
- Fatigue - Federal regulation states that commercial truck drivers cannot drive more than 10 consecutive hours, or more than 11 hours in a day, yet 13% of truck accidents are caused by the truck driver's fatigue.
- Illegal Maneuver - 9% of truck accidents are caused by a truck driver not following the rules of the road. While drivers of all vehicles should always follow traffic laws, truck drivers should be extra cautious as their vehicles are 25-50 times the size of others on the road.
- Exterior Distraction - Risky behavior while driving, such as talking on a cell phone, eating, reading, or adjusting the radio, accounts for 8% of trucking accidents.
- Inadequate Evasive Action - In the 3/4 of a second it takes for the brain to send the signal to brake to the time the foot actually applies the brake, a truck can travel over 60 feet. 7% of all trucking accidents are caused by a driver failing to slow or brake in sufficient time for stopped or stopping traffic.
- Aggressive Driving Behavior - 7% of accidents are caused by a truck driver not taking in account their visibility limitations or pure size of their vehicle while disobeying traffic laws, whether it be following too closely or cutting off other drivers on the road.
"Given the size and weight of these trucks, this negligence often leads to devastating injuries and death to whomever in the vehicle they hit," says Steve Crandall, a top-rated attorney throughout Ohio and Kentucky whose specialties include commercial truck accidents.
If you or a loved one are involved in a trucking accident, it is critical to act quickly and retain an experienced lawyer to ensure evidence is gathered to help bring these cases forward.
Please contact Steve Crandall if you have any questions regarding your commercial truck accident. Steve will provide you and your family with a free, no-obligation case review.