Trucks are different from passenger vehicles in many respects. The sheer size difference between the two requires truckers to receive special training to operate the tractor-trailer.
Unfortunately, even the best training can’t necessarily eliminate every driving mistake, especially when tired truckers are on the road.
Some of the leading causes of truck crashes
Federal hours of service regulations restrict how long a trucker can operate their tractor-trailer without taking a break, but statistics show that fatigue continues to be a significant contributor to truck accidents despite these regulations. Federal data shows that truckers who operate their tractor-trailers for longer than eight hours without taking a break are twice as likely to have a crash as those who don’t.
That same research hints that braking may also often result in causing crashes, especially on wet or slippery roads.
The connection between tired truckers and braking problems
Large trucks often weigh more than 10,000 pounds. Although only 4% of registered vehicles are trucks, they account for 9% of total highway miles traveled. The heavier a load is, the more challenging it may be for a trucker to stop. Shifts in improperly secured loads may make braking even more challenging.
Speed can also impact braking. It’s not uncommon for truckers to neglect to adjust their speed to changes in weather patterns, traffic congestion or street design, thus causing a crash. Fatigue may make it even harder for a trucker to make the necessary adjustments in time to avoid wrecks. In essence: A tired trucker is less likely to apply their brakes the way they should than an alert trucker.
You have options if a truck accident impacted your life
When there is a fatal two-vehicle crash involving a large truck and passenger vehicle, 96% of those that die are in passenger vehicles. 11% of all motor vehicle crash deaths involve large trucks. 22% of passenger vehicle occupant deaths when there is a multi-vehicle collision. All of these statistics show you just how serious a truck accident can be.
If you’ve been hurt in a wreck with a truck or a loved one was killed, find out more about your right to compensation for your losses.