Trucking accidents are a major cause of death and injury on our roads. In 2021 there were 5,788 people killed in traffic crashes involving large trucks. This was a 17-percent increase from 4,945 in 2020.
Factors in Truck Wreck Accidents
There are a number of factors that contribute to the high death toll in truck accidents. These include:
- The size and weight of trucks. Trucks are much larger and heavier than passenger cars, which means that they can cause more damage in a collision.
- The speed of trucks. Trucks often travel at high speeds, which can make it difficult for them to stop in time to avoid an accident.
- The lack of visibility around trucks. Trucks have large blind spots, which means that drivers may not be able to see other vehicles, especially smaller ones, that are alongside or behind them.
- Driver fatigue. Truck drivers are often required to work long hours, which can lead to fatigue and decreased alertness.
- Truck malfunctions. Mechanical failures can also cause truck accidents.
There are a number of safety measures that could be implemented to help reduce the number of truck accidents and fatalities. These include:
- Side guards and rear guards. Side guards and rear guards are devices that can be installed on trucks to help protect pedestrians and cyclists in sideswipe and rear-end accidents.
- Speed limiters. Speed limiters can be installed on trucks to prevent them from exceeding a certain speed.
- Driver fatigue management programs. Trucking companies should implement driver fatigue management programs to help ensure that drivers are not working too many hours and are getting enough sleep.
- Regular truck inspections. Trucks should be inspected regularly to ensure that they are in safe operating condition.
By implementing these safety measures, we can help to make our roads safer and reduce the number of truck accidents and fatalities.
The Trucking Industry Fights Safety Reforms
A PBS Frontline documentary on the trucking industry exposes the lobbying efforts by the trucking industry to prevent safety reforms. According to the documentary, “Trucking industry representatives and the government’s lead agency on traffic safety have said that their top priority is safety. Drawing on more than a year of reporting — including leaked documents and interviews with former government insiders, trucking industry representatives, and families of underride crash victims — the documentary reveals how, for decades, federal regulators proposed new rules to try to prevent underride crashes. Over and over, pushback from trucking industry lobbyists won the day, leaving drivers of smaller vehicles vulnerable.”
The trucking lobby has fought stronger regulations on side guards, even though there is ample evidence that such guards would certainly save lives. As PBS notes, “Dozens of countries have side guard requirements meant to protect pedestrians and cyclists. Japan first mandated them in 1979. In 1986, the United Kingdom did too. Two years later, the United Nations adopted an international side guard standard that was ratified by 43 countries and the European Union. China, Peru, Brazil and Australia have all passed regulations in the decades since.”
About the trucking accident lawyers at DRS Law
DRS Law Personal Injury Lawyers is a trucking accident law firm with decades of experience in helping victims of truck accidents. We have a team of experienced lawyers who are dedicated to getting our clients the compensation they deserve. If you have been injured in a truck accident, please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
We understand that truck accidents can be very traumatic, and we are here to help you through this difficult time. We will work with you to investigate your accident, gather evidence, and build a strong case. We will also fight for your rights and make sure that you receive the maximum compensation possible.