Since the Great Recession of 2008, the economy has been getting back on its feet. As the American population returns to work and once again begins to spend money, demand on truck drivers has increased. Unfortunately, demand has increased at the same pace as trucking accidents. Despite experiencing the lowest recorded number of fatalities in 2009, truckers have died on the road at an accelerated rate.
Danger by the Numbers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 2016 was one of the deadliest years for truck drivers in recent history. Out of a total of 5,190 work injuries in the United States, 786 of them were suffered by truck drivers. The fatality rate has been climbing since 2011 with a steep increase of 17.5 percent. Though there was a slight decrease in driver fatalities in 2015, the numbers from 2016 offer a grim outlook on the profession. The numbers were a startling 47 percent increase in fatalities compared to 2009.
This data places truck driving as one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in America with a fatality rate of 24.7 per 100,000 drivers. Other dangerous jobs that appear alongside truck driving include fishing, logging, roofing, farming, and aircraft pilots.
Why These Accidents Happen
While more truckers are dying due to an increase in demand, other factors contribute to the dangers of the industry. Increased demand is enticing employers with larger profit margins. Now, employers are pushing their drivers at a demanding pace. Tired drivers are prone to making mistakes as they attempt to fulfill demand, and it is costing them their lives.
When profits are up, employers cut corners on safety regulations to maximize earnings. Truckers are encouraged to ignore safety regulations at their own risk. Rigs are being neglected in a similar fashion: a recent safety crackdown saw over 3,000 trucks removed from the road due to having poorly-maintained brake systems. Trucking companies have no valid excuse for neglecting safety and endangering their drivers and those they share the road with. Our truck accident attorneys have seen a pattern of injury and death due to the neglect of trucking companies. It is time to hold responsible parties accountable and make the trucking industry safe once again.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, Arnold & Itkin’s team of attorneys are ready to help. We have won billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements and take pride in improving the recovery process for those who have been in a trucking accident. Contact us today at (888) 490-0442 for a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.