How Dangerous Are 18-Wheelers on the Roads?
Reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that 8 percent of all fatal vehicle crashes and 4 percent of all injury accidents involve one or more large trucks. Percentages that fall below the 10 percent mark may seem low; however, the fact that there are significantly fewer trucks on the road in comparison to other motor vehicles must also be taken into consideration. From year to year, the general trend has included high numbers of injury and fatalities caused by trucking accidents across the nation. The reality of truck accidents and the injuries or deaths that can result from them is a growing concern among professionals at the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Perhaps the most alarming of the department's findings is the statistic showing that 87 percent of truck crashes are caused by driver error.
Truck Driver Error a Cause for Concern
Truckers are held to standards of operation that prevent them from driving excessive hours and under dangerous conditions. In theory, this should account for problems of driver fatigue and unsafe driving conditions. Furthermore, trucking companies are expected to utilize only those vehicles which have been inspected for safety and are routinely taken in for maintenance. However, these standards are difficult to enforce, often leading to driver error.
The following truck drivers are more likely to cause accidents:
As indicated in a Driver Fatigue and Alertness Study issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), the dangers connected with the habits, lifestyles, and driving practices of truckers nationwide are cause for concern. Of the truckers who were polled for these studies, 65 percent admitted to experiencing occasional or frequent bouts of drowsiness while on the road. 48 percent even admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel of a semi-truck.
Obesity & Trucking: A Dangerous Combination
Obese truckers were also found to be more prone to accidents than other truckers on the road. Studies reveal that within their first two years on the road, anywhere from 43 percent to 55 percent of obese truckers have been found to be more likely to be involved in a collision as compared to other truckers whose body mass index (BMI) is at a healthy level.
Obese truck drivers may be in danger of the following:
- Heart Disease
- Sleep apnea (which can lead to drowsy driving)
These health complications can become dangerous behind the wheel of a truck. A driver who suffers a stroke, heart attack, or falls asleep at the wheel is likely to cause a great deal of damage.
Our Houston Truck Accident Attorneys Fight for Safety
Gone are the days when vehicle defects, bad weather, and faulty roads were believed to be the cause of most truck accidents. The USDOT has expressly stated that a majority of the catastrophic truck accidents that occur on U.S. highways across the nation are the fault of the drivers who operate these large vehicles. Statistics such as this concern our Houston truck accident attorneys and many others around the nation. The total number of injuries and fatalities that result from truck accidents has not been lost on our firm. In fact, it has intensified our desire to help those who are suffering as a result of truck driver error and negligent employers. We provide representation to the victims of trucking accidents nationwide. No matter where you are located, if you were wrongfully injured in a collision that resulted from a trucker's negligence, poor driving habits, or something else, turn to our firm for trusted representation and counsel.
Begin by completing a free case evaluation or contacting our firm today!