As if long hours and complex industry regulations weren’t enough to make trucking stressful, there’s more bad news. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), trucker deaths are at the highest they’ve been since 1988, even while overall motorist deaths declined.
What causes so many trucker deaths? The same things that are increasing the number of trucking accidents in general:
- There’s been a big increase in medium-duty vehicles on the road. Consumers have increasingly taken to online shopping, and somebody has to deliver all those packages. That means there are a lot of delivery trucks out there that weren’t on the road in the past.
- There are more less-experienced drivers on the road. The trucking industry has been combating an aging workforce as best as it can, but that increasingly means putting younger, less-savvy truckers on the road faster than normal to meet those shipping demands.
- Shipping companies aren’t always concerned about their drivers. Some companies don’t invest much effort when it comes to preventing driver fatigue and other problems. Worse, others may actually encourage drivers to falsify logs so they can drive longer than regulations allow.
- Loading and maintenance errors can also cause pile-ups. In the rush to keep up with today’s shipping demands, loading docks are also busier than ever. Loaders make mistakes that can easily lead to a big rig tipping over or jackknifing. Maintenance on these trucks is also sometimes skimpy — because companies dread having a semi out of commission for any length of time.
Truck accidents are invariably devastating to the victims. Many are killed. If you are injured while driving or riding in a truck or your loved one was killed, find out more about your potential right to compensation. Sometimes the only way to hold the liable party responsible for their mistakes is through a civil claim.