Large trucks are a constantly going to and through Ohio. Since ground transport is such an integral part of the economy providing jobs, goods and services, this is a good thing. However, the size of these trucks, the speeds at which they travel, and the frequency in which truck accidents occur is understandably worrisome to those who share the road with them. Researchers seek to learn why these crashes happen and devise ways to prevent them.
Recently, it has been suggested that truck drivers who are trying to overcome federal regulations regarding how much time they spend on the road could factor in with the rise in truck crashes. The rate of large truck accidents has risen in recent years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that in 2017, they spiked to their highest total in nearly three decades. An association that represents owners/operators says that drivers are pressured by regulations to try to make better time by driving at higher speeds.
There were more than 37,000 fatalities in motor vehicle accidents in 2017. That was a reduction of 2 percent from 2016. The number of fatalities in large truck crashes increased by 9 percent. Around 1,300 of the deaths were to the truckers. The remainder -- 72 percent -- were people in other vehicles. There was also a 4 percent rise in fatalities for the largest class of trucks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that drivers complain that the regulations are hindering flexibility and they are speeding because of it.
Drivers can only drive 11 out of 14 hours with a half-hour break when they reach eight hours. The drivers say the half-hour break does not help them and, in fact, makes things worse. Speed is the most common cause of fatal accidents, but it has reduced as a cause for three straight years. Other factors that are considered significant in causing a truck accident include distracted trucking, relying too heavily on cruise control, and truck driver fatigue.
People who are in a truck accident are vulnerable to life-changing injuries that can leave them with broken bones, spinal cord damage, brain trauma and more. This will result in medical expenses, problems working and long-term issues. When there is a fatality, the family left behind must consider how to handle an unexpected and unnecessary loss. A law firm that understands truck accidents can help with investigating the crash, determining why it happened and taking the necessary steps to file a lawsuit.