TRUCKING and MOTOR CARRIER ACCIDENTS

ABOUT 1 IN 10 HIGHWAY DEATHS OCCURS IN A CRASH INVOLVING A LARGE TRUCK OR BUS

According to the Department of Transportation - In 2015 there were 3,838 fatal crashes involving large trucks and buses - – an increase of 8% from 2014.

Most deaths in large truck crashes are passenger vehicle occupants. Large trucks often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger vehicles. They are taller and have greater ground clearance than cars, which means that lower-riding vehicles can slide beneath truck trailers, with deadly consequences. Rear underride guards are supposed to stop this from happening, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) research shows that guards meeting federal safety standards can fail in relatively low-speed crashes.

Truck driver fatigue is a known crash risk. Under federal hours-of-service regulations, drivers of large trucks are allowed to be behind the wheel for as long as 11 hours at a stretch and up to 77 hours over a seven-day period. Surveys indicate that many drivers violate the regulations and work longer than permitted. Electronic logging devices, which were required beginning in 2017, should help with compliance.

Truck braking capability can be a factor in crashes. Compared with passenger vehicles, stopping distances for trucks are much longer, particularly on wet and slippery roads or if the brake systems are poorly maintained. Large trucks also are prone to rolling over. A requirement for electronic stability control takes effect for most new truck tractors in 2017 and is expected to help reduce crashes. The IIHS states that fully loaded tractor trailers can take up to 40% farther to stop than a car and the distance is greater on wet or slippery roads.

One of the leading causes of bus accidents is the failure of the driver to see another vehicle on the road. Buses are big and bulky, which produces various blind spots that make it difficult for the bus driver to see everything around them. Another major contributor to bus accident statistics involves inadequate training. Some bus drivers are not properly trained enough, which is a frequent factor found in lawsuits that involve bus crashes. Poor maintenance of a bus is also a major contributor to bus accidents that occur annually.

Bigger does not always mean safer! If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a tractor-trailer or bus accident contact use for a free case evaluation today.