Despite continued efforts to make working conditions safer for commercial truck drivers, such as regulations on how many hours they are allowed to drive in a certain time period, accidents still occur. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found an increase in traffic fatalities involving trucks in 2015.
The analysis done by NHTSA showed an increase of 4 percent in fatal crashes that involved trucks from 2014 to 2015. The analysis also showed that fatalities overall went up in nine of the NHTSA’s regions in 2015. The one region that did not have an increase includes New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi. The NHTSA states an increase in the number of miles driven overall and driver error help account for the rise in fatal crashes. Human error is responsible for 94 percent of traffic crashes.
Truck drivers transport goods all over the country, so it is common to see large commercial vehicles on many highways. These drivers are often under pressure to make deliveries within a certain timeframe, which can lead to dangerous driving decisions, such as driving while fatigued or exceeding the speed limit. Truck drivers can also become distracted while on the road, which can also result in a higher number of accidents that could have been prevented.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that more than one-third of truck drivers have been in at least one serious crash. The size and weight of these vehicles results in catastrophic or fatal injuries more often than other motor vehicle accidents.
Tips for Safer Truck Driving
Commercial truck drivers can lower the risk of accidents by doing the following:
· Always wearing a seat belt while operating their vehicle
· Limiting distractions while on the road, such as avoiding the use of cell phones while driving
· Taking breaks more often, especially when they start feeling sleepy or drowsy
· Following posted speed limits and traffic laws
Putting these tips into practice can help make highways and other roads safer for truck drivers, other drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. If an individual is killed as a result of truck driver negligence, the decedent’s family members can pursue compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. It is important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who knows how to investigate trucking accidents and who understands how to present the facts of the case in a manner that will maximize the amount recovered.