When you are involved in a truck accident, the chances of serious injury or death are extremely high. Though state and federal officials have taken measures to minimize the risks associated with commercial truck accidents, nearly 4,000 people still die every year in truck crashes on the nation’s roadways, with more than four of every five deaths someone other than the truck driver.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the following are the most common causes of commercial truck crashes:
- Driver fatigue-The trucking industry typically pays drivers based on the number of mils they drive, so there’s an incentive to be on the road as much as possible. Recognizing this, Congress and many state legislatures have mandated regular breaks and have limited the number of hours a truck driver can consecutively be on the road, and can be on the road during a given time period (such as a day or week). Drivers are required to keep log books documenting their hours on the road, as well as breaks, but these books are neglected or falsified on a regular basis.
- Alcohol and drug abuse-Though truck drivers will occasionally drive while impaired by alcohol, the more common problem is drug abuse, with many drivers taking amphetamines or “uppers” to help them stay awake, so that they can put more hours on the road.
- Poor truck maintenance-Trucking companies and their drivers are also required to keep accurate maintenance logs. Unfortunately, time spent maintaining your vehicle is time that your truck can’t be on the road, and you can’t make any money. As a result, many drivers put off or avoid maintenance as long as possible.
- Driver negligence-A significant number of truck accidents are the result of inappropriate speeds, failure to obey traffic laws or signals, careless lane changes, or simply being unfamiliar with the roadways.
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To learn how we can help you if you have been injured, contact us online or call us at 732-702-0333 (toll free at ). There is no charge for your first meeting. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.