Tractor-trailer and semi-truck accidents cause thousands of fatalities annually. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports 1,822 deaths and 30,177 injuries in the country in 2013 due to large truck accidents. Although sometimes unavoidable, there are precautions to take. We have identified 5 critical factors that lead to major truck accidents.
– Maintenance of the truck. Even the most experienced truck driver with an excellent driving record cannot prevent a mishap if their equipment fails. Worn tires, hydraulic issues, brake failure, structural integrity problems, and other maintenance issues can contribute to crashes. Inspection of the vehicle must be routinely performed.
– Fatigue and other distractions. According to the National Sleep Foundation, those who drive a high number of miles, and drive at night, are at significantly higher risk for fall-asleep crashes. The Federal Hours of Service rules regulate the amount of time a driver is legally allowed to remain behind the wheel of a truck during a work week. Trucking companies sometimes force their employees to work beyond these regulations. A trucking attorney, such as those at Rutter Mills, can research documentation to prove the driver was overworked.
-Prescription and over-the-counter drug use. Legal drug use, prescription, and over-the-counter drugs are factors in a large number of cases. On the other hand, the use of illegal drugs and alcohol is rare in large trucking accidents. Prescription drug use is a factor in one-quarter of truck accidents.
– Lack of familiarity with the roadway. Not all roadways and highways are created equal. Even the most seasoned truck drivers can be confused with roadway configuration, such as ramps and large vehicle restrictions. According to studies, lack of familiarity with the roadway is a contributing factor in one of every five accidents.
– Driver inexperience and performance. Accidents can occur when a driver is inexperienced or not properly trained to drive a large truck. Driver recognition or decision errors are the most commonly cited factors in accidents. If a truck driver is not paying close attention to traffic patterns, an accident may result.
Rutter Mills is here for you and your family if they are involved in a serious trucking accident. The attorneys at Rutter Mills Law Firm are a dedicated and passionate team, committed to helping clients aggressively fight for justice and fair compensation. Call us today at 757-622-5000 for a free consultation of your case.