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How Dangerous Are Trucks on the Road?

Posted on November 20, 2020

More than 4,000 people were killed in accidents caused by truck drivers in 2018, but the truckers themselves were rarely the victims, according to an article on reportdoor.com. Only 16 percent of the truck drivers were among the fatalities, while the vast majority of the victims, 67 percent, were occupants of passenger vehicles.

According to the report, the six most common causes of truck accidents are:

  1. Distracted Driving. In trucks, this takes on greater significance than with other vehicles. “A truck driving 55 miles per hour will travel the length of a football field” in four seconds, the time “a text can take your eye from the road,” reported the article. Distracted driving was responsible for 71 percent of large truck crashes, according to a 2009 study.
  2. Driver Fatigue. This is often due to the tough schedules associated with the trucking industry. A National Institutes of Health study found that “31 percent of crashes involving large trucks occurred when the truck driver was fatigued.”
  3. Driver Inexperience. “The United States Department of Transportation found that truck drivers with less than five years’ experience are 41 percent more likely to cause an accident than one who had more experience,” the article stated.
  4. Improper Loading. This caused more than 200,000 crashes between 2011-2014, according to a study by AAA. When a truck’s cargo creates debris on the road, this becomes a hazard to other drivers.
  5. Improper Maintenance. When brakes fail, tires become worn, trailers are unsafe and engines malfunction, serious accidents can occur. The article reported that in 2014 alone, 223 people died from truck tire blowouts.
  6. Driving Under the Influence. As we reported in a blog post earlier this fall, this is an issue in the trucking industry. The reportdoor article referenced in this post reports that 50 percent of commercial drivers depend on alcohol to cope with stress and 30 percent rely on stimulants to deal with long hours. Impaired driving puts everyone’s life at risk.

If you or someone you love was involved in a trucking accident in Pennsylvania and would like to speak with an attorney, please contact us.