75% – 80% of all Truck Accident Blamable on Drivers of Passenger Vehicles

It is estimated that, every year, close to 70% of all goods in the US, including finished products and raw materials, are transported by semi-trucks from manufacturing plants to distribution centers. This flow of business, which adds about $671 billion to the US economy, clearly shows the major role played by semi-trucks in keeping the nation’s economy alive and active.

Semi-trucks, also called tractor-trailers, big rigs, or 18-wheelers, make up 2 million of the more than 15 million trucks operating in the US. Due to their very large size and heavy weight, though, these are considered threats on the road considering the damage these can cause in case of accidents. For this reason, the federal government sees it necessary to require those who wish to drive one should have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) which can be earned but only after going through a special training and education, and a series of tests that deal with the proper operation and handling of this types of vehicle.

After earning a CDL, a licensed driver and his or her employer are expected to comply with federal laws enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Department of Transportation, such as regular maintenance checks on trucks used, use of standard parts, especially the tires and brakes, observance of the hours of service, which is the allowed maximum number or driving hours allowed of drivers, and other laws that will help ensure avoidance of road crashes. All these mandates, as well as the special training and tests, are aimed at ensuring the overall safety of interstate commercial driving.

Though unavoidable, drivers of passenger vehicles still hope to be spared from sharing roads and highways with semi-trucks, much more, hope that they would be spared from getting involved in a truck accident, which number up to 500,000 every year, causing injury to more than 100,000 individuals and killing, at least, 4,000 others.

Different studies have shown that 75% – 80% of all truck accidents can actually be blamed on drivers of passenger vehicles. Of those where truck drivers are at fault, though, the FMCSA names the following as the causes: driver fatigue; driving too fast for road conditions; impairment due to prescription or over-the-counter-drugs; not being familiar with the road or the truck; inattention and driving distractions; improper way of attaching the trailer; failure of the driver to double-check blind spots; failure to ensure that the brakes are in good working condition; and, depowering of the front brakes, which is commonly done by truck operators to lessen wear and tear of tires and breaks for lesser operating costs.

On its website, the law firm Ausband & Dumont acknowledges the significant role that the trucking industry plays in this nation’s transportation and distribution needs, however, it comes with a high price – the high risk of serious, even fatal, injuries due to the strong force caused by a truck during impact. If the truck driver is the one at fault in the accident, then victims have the right to seek compensation to help them face the financial blows resulting from the accident.

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