Each year truck crashes kill over 5,000 people and injure almost 150,000 more on our nation's roads and highways. Nearly one in four passenger vehicle deaths in multiple-vehicle collisions involve a large truck. Large trucks are involved in multiple-vehicle fatal crashes at twice the rate of passenger vehicles. Furthermore, almost 800 large truck occupants, almost all of them drivers, die each year in these crashes. In recent years, almost one of every four fatalities among passenger vehicle occupants have been the result of multi-vehicle collisions involving a large truck.
When commercial drivers become fatigued from excessive daily and weekly work hours, they substantially increase the risk of crashes that result in death or serious injuries. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 750 people die and 20,000 more are injured each year due directly to fatigued commercial vehicle drivers.
DRIVER FATIGUE FACTS
• Large trucks accounted for 13% of all passenger vehicle deaths in 1999 yet represented only 3% of all registered vehicles. (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration or NHTSA, 2000).
• Truck driver fatigue is a contributing factor in as many as 30-40% of all heavy truck crashes. (NHTSA, 1994).
• The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) study found that of 107 heavy truck crashes, fatigue was a prominent factor in 75% of the run-off-the-road crashes, with 68% of long-haul drivers and 49% of short haul drivers suffering fatigue-related crashes.
Working long shifts not only radically increases the risk of performance errors due to lost alertness and drowsiness, but it also impairs a trucker's ability to gain proper restorative sleep even when they have sufficient off-duty time for sleep. (Federal Highway Administration or FHWA, 1997).
• on-site investigations over the last several years have determined that, overall, one crash in every five among truck drivers is due to falling asleep at the wheel and that up to 30% of truck crash fatalities on rural roads are due to sleep deprivation.
• The risk of a crash effectively doubles from the eighth to the tenth hour of driving, and doubles again from the tenth to the eleventh hour of driving alone. (FMCSA).
Why Is Contacting an Attorney Important?
It is important to contact an experienced phoenix personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a tractor trailer accident. An experienced lawyer’s involvement can ensure that evidence is preserved and the trucking accident scene is investigated promptly by experts. Evidence in trucking accidents can be easily destroyed, and it often is destroyed by guilty or liable truck drivers or trucking companies. This evidence is essential in determining what caused the accident and whether the truck driver is liable for damages.Truck Driving Accidents are not uncommon throughout the United States. This is why it is very crucial to always stay aware and alert while driving on roads. Though there is new technology that is contstantly being introduced to prevent truck driver fatigue, there will always be instances of where drivers on the road for long hours will still face it. The safest thing to do for truck drivers is to follow the laws. There's a reason why these laws exist in the first place. Be safe everyone.