Drivers beware: Big trucks are causing more big accidents!
Big rig accidents have been rising since 2014, when more than 100,000 people were injured in these crashes. Two recent investigative reports highlighted surprising causes for the death rate increase. In 2016, The Huffington Post headlined a story about dangerous practices in the trucking industry. In April 2017, USA Today exposed the illegal practices of trucker firms.
In 2015, “3,852 people died in large truck crashes. Sixty-nine percent were drivers of cars and other passenger vehicles,” while “16 %” were truck drivers, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Its website also noted the number of deaths was “22% higher in 2015 than in 2009.” The 2015 figures are the latest available totals from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Commission (FMCSA).
Trucking industry failures and problems
A rollback in federal regulation of the trucking industry is one reason why truck driver deaths have gone up “11.2% in the last five years. Truckers can “drive up to 11 hours at a stretch and up to 77 hours over a seven day period,” compared to the average 40 hour work week. Some trucking companies – particularly in California – force drivers to work even longer hours, threatening job loss and repossession of trucks they struggled to pay for with rent-to own leases.
A shortage of drivers is plaguing the industry. In 2015, the American Trucking Association reported a shortage of 35,000 to 40,000 truck drivers, according to the Los Angeles Times. It’s especially acute among long haul drivers. The average driver is 55 years old and many are retiring just as the demand for consumer goods is growing in a recovering economy.
The trucking industry is pushing hard to hire younger drivers as older drivers retire. While teens often “make more reckless decisions behind the wheel,” trucking companies are lobbying Congress to allow 18-year olds to drive big rigs across state lines to bring goods to markets.
Other common causes of big rig accidents
According to GTG Technology Group, a global transport management firm, driver error, drowsy, distracted or reckless drivers, drivers under the influence of prescription drugs, alcohol or illegal drugs cause fatal crashes. Poor maintenance, defective truck parts built by negligent manufacturers, poor weather conditions and improper cargo loading also cause these crashes.
Wayne Wright has been representing trucking accident victims for 40 years
In 2015, truckers carried “more than 67% of the country’s total freight by weight. Wayne Wright knows that amount will grow significantly along with inexperienced drivers as demand for consumer goods keeps growing in our recovering economy.
Wayne Wright is one of America’s top trial lawyers. His legal awards attest to his ability to win cases on behalf of his clients. You only pay fees when Wayne Wright wins your case. Calls and evaluations are free. Victims of truck accidents have a champion in Wayne Wright.
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