A study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveals that majority of truck accidents are due to errors committed by drivers of semi-trucks, also called 18-wheelers or big rigs. This result is in contrast with other studies which say that more than 50% of the 500,000 truck accidents in the U.S. are due to the fault of drivers of passenger cars.
According to the FMCSA, the most common errors committed by truck drivers include fatigue; driving beyond the set speed limit, driving too fast for road conditions; drivers impaired due to use of prescription or over-the-counter-drugs; overspeeding; unfamiliarity with the road; lack of experience in operating a semi-truck; lack of focus on the road; distracted driving; improper attachment of trailer; failure to check “no-zone” areas or blind spots; failure to make sure that truck brakes are in good working condition; and, depowering of the front brakes to lessen wear and tear of tires and breaks. All these errors lead to many other things that directly affect the capability of truck drivers to react to danger correctly and on time.
In 2013, there were 3,500 fatal large truck accidents. These accidents resulted to the death of 570 truck drivers; other fatalities were drivers of smaller vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Non-fatal injuries, on the other hand, exceed more than a hundred thousand.
After a trucking company does everything to ensure that both the vehicle and driver have all the necessary things for a workload to be done and completed safely, the responsibility for safe conduct shifts to the truck driver. Unfortunately, some drivers fail to take this responsibility seriously and cause catastrophic and preventable accidents as a result.
Any failure to be aware of their surroundings or their limitations may result in a trucker causing a life-threatening accident. Due to this, truckers should be aware of all the inherent risks of their vehicle and know just how quickly their negligence or recklessness can become dangerous. Those hurt in a trucking accident, on the other hand, may find it necessary to pursue legal action against the liable driver or his/her employer to pursue compensation.