In early January, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it is planning to conduct a study on crashes involving large trucks. The last time the FMCSA conducted this type of study was more than 15 years ago, from 2001 to 2003, and a lot has changed since then.
The last study showed that the majority of truck crashes were due to an action the truck driver took, or failed to take, resulting in a crash. Now, the administration says, times have changed and drivers deal with a lot more than they once did on the roads. Thus, the administration expects this new study to shed light on how the causes of truck crashes have evolved.
The administration has made a formal proposal requesting information that could help it design the study. It plans to include all contributing factors for crashes that involved injury, fatalities, or damage to a vehicle so excessive it was left inoperable after the accident.
What Has Changed Since the Last Large Truck Crash Study?
There have been so many changes in technology, vehicle safety, driver behavior, and even the way roads are designed, that it will be interesting to see what comes from the new study. Some of the changes the study will focus on include the use of cellphones by truck drivers, navigation systems built right in the cab of the truck, safety equipment, and fleet management systems.
Perhaps the biggest reason for the new study is the fact that crashes involving large trucks have risen in recent years. Between 2009 and 2018, truck accidents increased by 52.6 percent. Just in the past three years, truck accidents have increased by 5.7 percent.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Although the last FMCSA study showed that most crashes were due to truck driver negligence, there are many types of carelessness that can result in an accident. The most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Fatigue: Truck drivers must be on the road for long periods of time and are subject to extreme fatigue. Fatigued driving is dangerous driving, as it takes a driver’s focus off the road.
- Alcohol and drug use: Although impaired driving is highly illegal, that does not stop people from doing it, even truck drivers.
- Speeding: Speeding is always dangerous, but it is particularly risky for truck drivers because it takes them longer to slow down and stop.
- Poor training or maintenance of the truck: When either of these are the cause of a truck accident, the trucking company may be held liable.
- Distracted driving: Distractions include texting, talking on the phone, eating and drinking, grooming, using navigation systems, and changing the radio. These are all things truck drivers may do behind the wheel.
Need Legal Help? Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a truck accident, do not try to handle your claim on your own. Our Houston truck accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian can thoroughly investigate your crash to determine the cause and identify all liable parties. We will accurately evaluate your claim and fight to hold truck drivers, trucking companies, and their insurers accountable for paying the compensation you need.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation so we can start reviewing your case.