The amount of deaths and injuries incurred by trucking accidents each year is on the rise. Big-rig truck accidents are not fender benders by any means. Any vehicle or person that comes into contact with a large, 18-wheeler vehicle is in for a life-shaking event. Cargo trucks and trucks of similar size can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, in some cases. With cars weighing an average of 4,000 pounds and motorcycles weighing an average of 400 pounds, you can see that they are no match for a cargo truck, neither full nor empty.
We are in 2018, though, where cars are beginning to drive themselves and where computers and smartphones respond to the human voice. There is no reason for the trucking industry, whomst is responsible for so much destruction each year, to not catch up. A recent federal data report shows that there has been a 28% increase in large truck-related deaths over the course of 7 years between 2009 and 2016. There were well over 4,000 deaths in 2016 from truck-related crashes and collisions alone. At what point do we stop and ask, “Why?”
There are known, on-the-road vehicles that have sensors to help avoid lane swerving, fender benders and other distracted driving side-effects. There is technology available for safe braking – that allows a vehicle to brake when the device has detected that they may hit another vehicle or object. Why are these not being implemented to big-rig and 18-wheeler trucks, some of the most hazardous vehicles on the road?
This technology is not necessarily going to end crashes or collisions, but it may mitigate effects or even help to lower the death toll. It isn’t cheap either, which may be the best answer as to why more truck companies aren’t implementing the technology required to brake such a heavy vehicle. Still, what are the key ways in which we can help lower the fatalities and accidents each year?
One of the biggest issues with truck drivers is simply distraction. They may be fiddling with the stereo, making a phone call or texting, trying to figure out where they are going, and so on and so forth. Truck companies seem to have their hands tied when it comes to hiring responsible truck drivers. There aren’t many new, young drivers out there and truck companies don’t necessarily have the room to punish misbehaving drivers or increase wages to encourage new, safe drivers.
A big contributor to truck accidents is drivers who have not gotten the rest they need to safely drive. They ignore their driving limit and try to continue on the road. Drowsiness and restlessness are not ideal driving circumstances. Another contributor is drunk driving and distracted driving, such as texting, scrolling or making calls on the phone. Both of which are recipes for disaster on the road.
If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed due to the recklessness of a truck driver or truck company, please do not hesitate to take action. Put you and your family first. Let our experienced team of attorneys guide you through your truck accident case, step by step. If you have any questions and are interested in our services, call our office today for a free consultation.