Motorists throughout Louisville are put at risk on the roads when truck drivers engage in unsafe behavior. Unfortunately, accidents involving trucks are often much more serious than other types of motor vehicle collisions. Truckers are significantly larger, have more momentum when a crash happens, and are more likely to be involved in roll-over crashes because they are top heavy. Underride and jackknife collisions, which don’t typically occur in car accidents involving cars alone, are a real threat when a truck crash happens.
There are strict rules which are aimed at trying to reduce the number of car accidents which occur that involve trucks. These rules are designed to prevent some of the highest risk behaviors on the part of truckers, like driving while fatigued.
Unfortunately, while these federal laws aim to protect motorists, they are not always effective at stopping truckers from engaging in dangerous behavior. One recent study conducted by National Institute of Occupational Safety involved an interview of 1,265 long-haul truck drivers at 32 different truck stops nationwide. The study, the results of which were published by Safety BLR, revealed some troubling information about why car accidents involving trucks remain so common and remain such a stubbornly high cause of fatal crashes, despite regulations aimed to prevent these accidents.
Car Accidents Involving Trucks Occur Because of Unsafe Behaviors
The truck drivers revealed that the driver shortage and widespread pressure from employers are among the reasons why truckers so often do risky things which cause car accidents to occur. Employers are failing truckers in many ways and endangering every motorist in the process. For example:
- 74 percent of long-haul truck drivers responding to the survey indicated they had experienced delivery schedules which were unreasonable and which could not safely be fulfilled. When a trucker has an unreasonable delivery schedule, there is pressure to violate Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations hours-on-duty limitations and/or to continue to drive the truck while feeling fatigued. There is also a risk a truck driver will be more prone to speeding in the truck when he feels pressure to make deliveries on a schedule he cannot meet.
- 38 percent of drivers reported they had not been trained properly by their employer upon embarking upon their professional careers. Without proper training by employers, truck drivers could be unfamiliar with the large trucks they are expected to drive and with company safety protocols for crash prevention, if such protocols even exist.
With these types of conditions, it should come as no surprise that 35 percent of long-haul truck drivers reported they’d been involved in at least one car accident over the course of their driving career. When these car crashes affect other motorists, victims should consider making a personal injury claim against the company which employs the truck driver.