2018 was a tough year for trucking companies. Indeed, it was a tough year for those who were involved in truck accidents which includes both truck drivers and other drivers on the road. By 2017, fatalities involving trucks reached the highest point in 29 years according to the data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Throughout 2018, those numbers continued to rise. Now, people are beginning to wonder why.
One of the main considerations is traffic on the road. Today, there’s more traffic than ever before and it simply increases the likelihood that there are going to be more accidents.
Trucking accidents accounted for 4,761 of the 37,133 traffic fatalities that occurred in 2017. However, there was a 2% decline in the overall number of trucking accidents from the previous year. On the other hand, fatalities involving large commercial trucks and tractor-trailers increase 9% over the same period leaving many poring over industry standards in regards to driver safety.
Around 1300 of the deaths that occurred in trucking accidents were truckers themselves. The remaining 3,400 were other drivers. Among truck drivers, around 40% of those killed in accidents were not wearing seat belts.
What’s Going On?
The federal rule that requires drivers to rest after 8 hours on the road may be at least partially responsible for the uptick in tractor-trailer accidents. Truckers who are under the gun to make deliveries in a specific amount of time are also required to rest in 8-hour intervals in order to comply with the federal statute. While the law was no doubt intended to decrease the number of trucking accidents, it would appear that it’s actually caused a surge in them. Like many government regulations, it’s the path to hell paved by good intentions.
On the other hand, truck drivers who are driving recklessly to make deliveries under the law are putting other drivers and themselves at risk. Regardless of your opinion on the regulatory environment that truckers are expected to operate in, truckers are still responsible for safely making deliveries and owe the public a duty of care to ensure that they abiding by traffic laws.
Is Diver Analytics the Solution?
In today’s marketplace, it’s possible to monitor the habits of drivers who haul freight from one place to another. This may be the future of trucking safety. While the regulations forcing drivers to break for 30 minutes in 8-hour intervals are hotly contested, the idea of ensuring truck driver compliance with speed limits can reduce the overall burden on these drivers to make their deliveries on time. Some truck drivers complain that the mandatory 30 minute breaks actually increase their fatigue instead of reducing it. They would prefer to driver eleven hours straight rather than taking mandatory breaks. Regardless, driver fatigue remains a major problem for commercial trucking companies and this appears to be increasing each year.
Talk to a Vero Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured by a commercial truck, talk to the Vero Beach personal injury attorneys at Vocelle & Berg, LLP. We can help you recover damages for your injuries. Call us for a free consultation.