Vehicle-related transportation of some sort is a requirement for most Americans. But simply making the decision to get behind the wheel of your vehicle can seem like a crapshoot nowadays. According to national statistics, driving-related crashes account for 37,000 annual American fatalities, and that’s in addition to the 2.35 Americans who are injured or disabled as a result. Of course, cars alone certainly are not the only concern. There are half a million national trucking companies which account for 15.5 million trucks on the road at any time. And 2 million of those are tractor trailers–many of which weigh up to 20-30 times that of a passenger car. Thousands of unnecessary commercial truck accident fatalities occur annually due, in most cases, to avoidable situations. But what are the most common causes of these catastrophes?
Inexperience or Inadequate Training
Truck companies are known to offer training and licensing for new employees. But all too often, those employees are brand new to the industry or relatively inexperienced large vehicle drivers. Novice drivers tend to charge less and expect less pay for their services than experienced drivers, so they appeal to many truck companies. But that decision can result in a potentially serious commercial truck accident.
Any vehicle needs proper maintenance to run safely, but that’s especially true for large trucks that are responsible for deliveries or extensive travel. Federal regulations require commercial vehicles of all sizes to stay in good operating condition if they intend to be on the road. Not doing so can result in a hefty fine or worse, depending on the situation. Following a checklist focusing on brakes, tires, fluids, engine tune-ups, and trailer stabilization is essential prior to each long-haul trip.
Distracted or Impaired Driving
Distracted driving and impaired driving are still the top two road-related killers today. But they’re not just problems for teens or over-stressed soccer moms. Distracted driving can include cell phone or mobile device usage. But it can also include eating while driving, talking to others, fiddling with the radio or the GPS system, or even looking at a map or for something you dropped on the passenger side. And as for impaired driving, long hauls and limited sleep lead many commercial drivers to take unnecessary risks such as relying on prescriptions or drinking while working to help settle their nerves. Unfortunately, all that does is increase their chances of needing to contact a Michigan personal injury attorney.
Driver Fatigue or Exhaustion
Driving while tired is a dangerous decision for anyone behind the wheel of a vehicle, but it’s especially true for large or commercial truck drivers. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 13% of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers have admitted to being tired at the time of an accident. The human body is naturally tired from 12-4 am and 2-4 pm. So an easy way to decrease your chances of having or being involved in a commercial truck accident is to avoid driving during those hours. But if an accident still occurs, your Michigan personal injury attorney can help you get back on the road again.