The numbers don’t lie. In 2012 alone, there were nearly 4,000 deaths and 104,000 injuries caused by truck crashes on America’s highways, an increase of 18 percent from 2009. Despite federal regulations limiting hours of service for truck drivers, crashes continue to happen. Given the size difference between a big rig and the average sedan, it’s no wonder that most of the victims of these crashes are innocent motorists, while the negligent truck driver often escapes unharmed.
Why So Many Crashes?
The real tragedy is that most of these crashes are completely preventable. Better driver training, less pressure to move loads quickly, and more responsibility on the part of the driver to protect other motorists would lead to fewer crashes and less loss of life. A look at the top ten causes of truck crashes, according to Ryder Trucks, proves that the key to preventing these highway tragedies lies in the hands of the truck driver. The top 10 causes are:
- Failure of the truck driver to obey the rules of the road
- Speeding or unsafe acceleration
- Under-inflated tires
- Cargo shifting or improperly loaded
- Truck driver fatigue
- Truck driver substance abuse
- Improper braking or deceleration
- Poor truck maintenance or shoddy repair work
- Vehicular blind spots
- Careless or reckless driving
No one is saying that long-distance trucking is an easy job. Time pressures, being away from home for long stretches, and poor pay all contribute to a high turnover rate in this profession. As a result, trucking companies are frequently short staffed, which puts even more pressure on the drivers they do have. However, the burden is on the trucking company and the truck drivers themselves to make sure that when a truck heads out on the highway, it will not put motorists in danger.
When You Are the Victim
Four thousand deaths a year breaks down to almost 11 deaths every day. On top of that, 284 people are injured in truck crashes every day, many of them seriously. If your loved one is one of those 11 victims, or you are one of the 285 injuries, you need justice. The trucker and the trucking company need to pay for their mistakes. You deserve the best representation you can get. Contact us online or call us directly at 816.471.5111 for your free consultation.