The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) plans to conduct an updated study into what’s causing large truck accidents. According to a report, the federal transportation safety agency that oversees safety of large trucks and buses, has asked for public comment on how best to design and conduct the Large Truck Crash Causal Factors Study, identifying factors contributing to reportable large truck accidents.
What the Study Will Explore
The FMCSA last conducted such a study in 2001-2003, which provided the agency and the safety research community valuable insight into the factors linked to the crashes involving at least one large truck. The original study used a nationally representative approach, collecting data on crashes at 24 sites of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System. That study found that truck driver negligence (carelessness), error or inaction was a factor in a vast majority of crashes where the reason for the crash was assigned to the large truck
The original study collected a lot of information including, but not limited to, crash scene description, weather, component problems with brakes, driver credentials, fatigue (sleep pattern, work schedule), inattention or distraction, trip information, etc. Vehicle safety and technology and roadway design have changed in the more than the 15 years since the original study. Fatal crashes involving large trucks decreased in the period after the study ended in 2003 and until 2009 when they hit their lowest point in years. Deadly accidents involving large trucks have steadily increased since 2009, reaching 4,415 fatal crashes in 2018.
Officials believe that a new study would enable the FMCSA to determine the factors leading to the jump in fatal large truck crashes. Factors identified in a new study may push new initiatives to reduce the number of large truck fatalities. Also, knowing more about driver behaviors may establish areas where new driving automation systems may be put to use more effectively.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Here are some of the most common causes of large truck accidents:
Driver fatigue: Overworked drivers who get very little rest during long trips are at risk of falling asleep at the wheel and causing catastrophic crashes. Federal hours-of-service regulations limit the number of hours truck drivers can operate without rest. But, we still see a number of large truck accidents caused by fatigued drivers.
Impaired or distracted driving: Use of alcohol or drugs and driving while distracted are also factors in a number of truck accidents. Various studies have also shown that trucking firms don’t do a very good job of screening drivers for alcohol or drug use.
Poor driver training: Operating a large truck requires a driver to have undergone significant amount of training and to possess specific sets of skills. However, not all truck drivers have the training or experience to competently operate a large truck. This can result in poor judgment and bad decisions.
Poor truck maintenance: Trucking companies and owners have a responsibility to ensure that their vehicles are in good condition and safe for the road. When truck owners are not diligent about vehicle maintenance and neglect to replace worn parts, a number of crashes may result – especially due to trucks that lose their tires or from brake failure.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Victims who have been injured in truck accidents may be able to seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Families of deceased accident victims may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as lost future income, funeral costs, medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, or if you have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent or careless driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For over 48 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
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