In 2007, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released the findings of an unprecedented study into the causes of large truck crashes. They looked at over 960 individual accidents involving large trucks between 2001 and 2003, and reached some interesting conclusions about the most common causes of these serious crashes.
Drivers Are The Leading Cause
Unsurprisingly, human error was by far the leading factor, accounting for roughly 87% of these crashes. This is a broad category and includes a wide range of specific factors which contributed to the accidents.
- Drug use – According to the FMCSA, the use of either illegal or prescription drugs was a contributing factor in 26% of accidents studied. Surprisingly, over-the-counter medications were a factor in 18% of crashes.
- Speeding – Commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, so it takes a relatively long time to stop when there is danger up ahead. Speeding reduces the amount of time a driver has to react to dangerous road conditions, and increases the damage when they crash.
- Failing to check blind spots – 18-wheelers have massive blind spots, and drivers are typically thoroughly trained to check these areas before turning or merging. However, the FMCSA found that 14% of truck accidents involved a failure to check blind spots.
- Driver fatigue – Commercial drivers are often on tight schedules, and are pressured to make deliveries on time. As a result, driver fatigue was a factor in 13% of collisions – although far lower than previously thought, this is still a major cause of truck crashes.
- Illegal maneuvers – Traffic violations like running a red light, making an illegal U-turn, and others are dangerous in any-sized car. When the vehicle is an 80,000 pound, 60+ foot tractor-trailer, however, the resulting accidents can be deadly.
Hurt In An Accident? Call (615) 244-2222 Today.
At Bill Easterly & Associates, our Nashville truck accident attorneys have extensive experience with these injury claims. If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a truck accident, our firm can help you recover fair compensation for medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more. Contact us today to hold negligent drivers and trucking companies accountable for the harm they cause.
Get started today with a free case evaluation.