Why Are Truckers Involved on So Many Injury Accidents?
By Neil Kalra
In 2017, the number of commercial trucks involved in a fatal crash rose virtually 10 percent to 4,657 from 2016’s 4,251, according to the National Motor Carrier Safety Administration (NMCSA). We’ve also learned from the NMCSA that the number of large trucks involved in injury crashes increased by 5 percent, from 102,000 to 107,000. Here’s why.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
Fatigue: Most over-the-road (OTR) truckers are overworked. They drive long distances for many hours with very little rest. This is commonly caused by their trucking company employers that demand load delivery schedules that run contrary to several new federal laws and regulations meant to keep fatigued drivers off the road. So in order to keep their jobs, drivers feel the pressure to deliver their loads “on time” (even if the “scheduled” delivery time is unreasonable). So drivers get less sleep and drive more. Accumulated fatigue causes many to lose concentration and fall asleep behind the wheel.
Alcohol and Drug Use: Many OTR drivers use alcohol and drugs (illegal or prescribed) while behind the wheel. Some only take them only when they stop and rest. Others take them while on the road. No matter how they are used, drivers become impaired and then cause accidents.
Poor Driver Training and Truck Maintenance: Before drivers can be allowed behind the wheel of a commercial truck, they must pass a series of tests after many hours of training. But, not all “approved” drivers follow the rules they’ve been taught. That’s when you get a poorly trained and inexperienced truck driver behind the wheel; which is an accident waiting to happen.
Truck owners are also legally required to keep their rigs in top condition before they hit the road. Seldom will owners do that due to the costs, and because a truck in the shop is “not earning.” Poorly maintained trucks; when driven by poorly trained drivers, cause a lot of wrecks, injury and death.
Speeding and Overtaking: Since snarled roads conspire to make truckers run behind schedule, drivers find themselves under additional pressure to meet delivery deadlines. In order to keep their jobs, drivers break the speed limit to “make up time.” This significantly reduces driver reaction time. Then, if they must hit their brakes immediately, or suddenly veer into another lane, a wreck often happens.
Distracted Drivers: When driving long distances, truckers get bored and need something to occupy them. This urge sends them to their cell phones to read, send or reply to text messages, make phone calls or browse the web. Changing the radio station also distracts a driver. Even when a trucker takes his eyes off the road for a fraction of a second, that’s all it sometimes takes for a distracted trucker to hit a family car; with tragic consequences.
Catastrophic accidents between truckers and drivers happen every day in New York City, and for all the above reasons. New York is a destination for cargo hauling trucks and drivers. Many can be just a few miles from delivering their cargo. Maybe their minds wander a bit and then it happens. They hit someone: maybe you and your family on the BQE or the Triborough.
So drive defensively at all times. And be very watchful to avoid danger from an out-of-control truck.
Whether you or a family member was injured due to a car accident, commercial vehicle accident, or semi-truck accident, you may be entitled to full benefits and compensation. Know your rights and get the answers you deserve. The attorneys at Kalra Law Firm are dedicated to getting car accident victims the compensation they deserve. Call our office now to speak with one of our experienced car accident lawyers to represent you in your case. We offer a free initial consultation and will not charge unless we win your case. Call our New York City and Queens car accident lawyers today if you have any questions about a car accident you were involved in. Call us at (718) 897-2211 www.unionlawyer.com