Truck Driver Error, One of the Major Causes of Truck Accidents

A study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that truck accidents are more due to errors committed by drivers of semi-trucks (also called 18-wheelers or big rigs). This is opposed to the results of a number of surveys which rather say that drivers of passenger cars are the ones more at fault in majority of road accidents involving trucks. The FMCSA, which is a separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), has the primary mission of enforcing laws that will reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving commercial motor vehicles (CMV), such as large trucks and buses.

The most common truck driver errors that have been identified by the FMCSA include: driver fatigue; overspeeding or driving too fast for road conditions; drivers impaired due to use of prescription or over-the-counter-drugs; unfamiliarity with the road; lack of experience in operating a semi-truck; lack of focus on the road; distracted driving; improper attachment of trailer; failure to check “no-zone” areas or blind spots; failure to make sure that truck brakes are in good working condition; and, depowering of the front brakes to lessen wear and tear of tires and breaks and so save on operating costs. All these errors lead to many other things that directly affect the capability of truck drivers to react to danger correctly and on time.

It is common knowledge that semi-trucks pose a serious risk to other drivers due to their enormous size and heavy weight. Thus, if a driver does not possess the required skills to operate a truck safely or commits an error that results in an accident, fatalities and people sustaining severe injuries are not remote possibilities.

In 2013, records from the Highway Loss Data Institute, a non-profit research organization, showed 3,500 fatal large truck accidents. These accidents resulted to the death of 570 truck drivers, while the remaining count involved drivers of smaller vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Injuries, on the other hand, exceed more than a hundred thousand.

About half a million truck accidents occur every year, leaving so many victims and their families burdened with emotional and physical pains, and in financial difficulties. No one wants an accident to occur, inluding the truck driver who may be at fault in the accident; however, due to the injuries or death of victims, erring truck drivers should only be made to face justice as well as compensate their victims for all damages resulting from injuries.

Dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident can be difficult, if not seemingly impossible. Fortunately, with the help of a Tucson motor vehicle accident attorney, a victim may not only be able to get the justice you are seeking, but also the financial compensation he/she needs to cope with the aftermath of the accident.

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Truck Accidents in Texas on the Rise

Texas is the second largest state in the US, and it has a lot of highways and byways being traversed by all kinds of commercial vehicles. It is not really surprising that in 2012 there were 26,403 crashes involving commercial motor vehicles (CMV), including truck accidents, in all of Texas. Of this number, 460 were fatal (525 fatalities), 3,738 were serious injury (5,287 seriously injured) and 4,181 were injury crashes (7,193 injured). These figures represent a 17% increase in the number of CMV-related fatalities and 8% of CMV-related crashes to 2011. There were no fatality-free days in Texas for 2012.

While these numbers are for all CMV-related crashes, truck accidents are bound to have a significant contribution because of the size and nature of the vehicle. Most trucks are used to transport goods across many miles, and truck drivers make more money if they drive more miles. The chances of trucking accidents rise when there is a great demand for services because the faster you travel with fewer breaks, the faster the trucking company and driver earn. This is still negligent behavior, and victims of truck accidents can recover damages and get compensation from the driver and carrier.

A truck driver does not even have to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or be distracted by cell phone use or eating to be involved in truck accidents. According to the website of Chris Mayo, all that is needed is for the truck driver to ignore regulations and skip mandated rest periods and fatal consequences can easily follow. It is said that driving while deprived of sleep can be just as bad as driving while drunk. The long hours, monotonous occupation and lack of sleep make large trucks weapons on wheels on the roadways to the detriment of smaller, more vulnerable vehicles. According to the Truck Accident Resource Center, 98% of the fatalities in truck accidents are the occupants of the other vehicle. This is pretty clear, as trucks are so much larger than the average car that their drivers are in safer positions when they are involved in accidents.

If you or someone you know sustained injuries due to the negligence of a truck driver in Texas, consult with a personal injury lawyer with experience in dealing with truck accidents. Irresponsible people have no business being behind the wheel of a large truck, and should be made to pay for it when they make critical mistakes that harm innocent people.

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