Any given truck out on the road can weigh upwards of 40,000 lbs., so it is no surprise that when a truck collides with a much smaller vehicle, like a car or a motorcycle, that the other driver stands very little chance of defending themselves against the devastating impact. Unfortunately, statistics show this to be true, as 98% of all truck-related fatalities leave the driver of the passenger car dead.
It is important to understand why trucking accidents continue to happen at such an astounding rate across the US—approximately 141,000 collisions a year—and take action to remedy the various causes. Of the total number of accidents that happen across the country each year, nearly 77,000 of them are caused by the negligent actions of the truck driver, so it is vital for the victims of such collisions to understand what factors may have contributed to the crash.
Prescription Drug Use
Surprisingly, prescription drug use takes the top spot when examining the top ten causes of trucking accidents, as it accounts for 26% of all accidents. When a driver fails to read the warning labels of their prescribed medications or simply decides to ignore the possibility that the side-effects could impair their driving, the consequences can prove to be devastating for the other drivers sharing the road.
In a close second, driving at unsafe speeds accounts for another 23% of all trucking collisions. When a commercial driver is responsible for maneuvering a multi-ton vehicle safely around other motorists, it is imperative that they adhere to the rules of the road, as failing to do so can result a much greater potential for a fatal accident to occur.
The list then goes on to say that driving in an unfamiliar environment, taking over-the-counter-drugs when operating a commercial vehicle, and failing to adequately check one’s surroundings account for a large percentage of trucking accidents.
A little farther down the list, however, driver fatigue and distracted driving account for a total of 21% of all collisions. These are two of the most commonly stated reasons for an injured driver to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Although truck drivers often work long, sleepless hours, that is not an excuse that can justify getting behind the wheel and subsequently injuring another driver. They can be held liable for damages if their irresponsible actions have caused an accident resulting in injury.