Large truck crashes are responsible for approximately 4,000 fatalities and 100,000 injuries per year. In 2012, 333,000 large trucks were involved in traffic accidents. Several factors are largely responsible for truck accidents, including driver training (or lack thereof), driver negligence, trucking company negligence, inadequate maintenance, and parts malfunctions. One example of driver error is fatigue as a result of long hours on the road. This can sometimes be the fault of the trucking company as well. Companies and drivers have a responsibility to uphold public safety by adhering to regulations and utilizing safe driving practices.
A truck is technically considered “large” if its gross vehicle weight is over 10,000 pounds. With the responsibility of controlling a vehicle that large, a driver should have knowledge regarding the physics involved. However, according to the Federal Highway Administration, only a third of large truck drivers receive proper training upon obtaining their commercial driver’s license (CDL), or upon their hire. To receive a CDL, drivers need only to pass standard tests with minimal skills. No requirements, including prior training on how to drive the commercial vehicle, is necessary. A document called The Proposed Minimum Standards for Training Tractor-Trailer Drivers was written by the Department of Transportation back in the 1980’s. However, there has been no follow-through since then to make these standards mandatory. Because of this, only a small percentage of trucking companies offer adequate and updated training for their drivers.
One of the leading causes of large truck accidents is driver fatigue. The National Transportation Safety Board declares driver fatigue a significant factor in 30 to 40 percent of truck accidents. Unrealistic expectations to deliver goods in a certain amount of time force many truckers to work beyond legal hours. The Journal of Public Health Policy reported that 31 percent of tractor-trailer drivers admitted to falling asleep while driving. Hours of service rules dictate the restrictions on hours and legal periods of rest. However, trucking companies have been known to misrepresent driving logs. The issue of truck driver fatigue is continuously scrutinized by government and other public safety agencies.
Large Truck Facts
- In accidents involving a large truck and a passenger vehicle, 98 percent of fatalities were in the passenger vehicle.
- A plane crash every other week within a one year time span is equivalent to the amount of truck crash deaths per year.
- Truck crashes cost the public over $83 billion in taxes annually.
- Truck registrations have risen 83 percent since legislation increased the gross vehicle weight limit in 1982.
Van Sant Law – Georgia’s Trucking Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured in an accident involving a large truck, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other related costs. Vehicle accidents can turn a family’s life upside down, leaving a trail of medical expenses, long recovery time, and emotional stress. At Van Sant Law, we will review every detail of your case to determine the best way to move forward. Witness statements, driver logs, and skid marks are just a few examples of evidence we can use to prove fault. With offices in Atlanta, Alpharetta, and Cumming, we will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact Van Sant Law today.