Why are there so many serious highway crashes involving large trucks these days?

Attorney Jason MacriAuthor: Attorney Jason Macri

I-95 in South Florida is home to some of the most devastating car crashes. Many of these crashes involve large trucks. The damage that can be caused by a large truck far exceeds the typical damage caused by the average car crash. The question becomes; why do so many devastating crashes involve large trucks?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has made their main mission to reduce the number and severity of large truck crashes. The FMCSA’s Office of Information Management develops and maintains systems for collecting and analyzing motor carrier data, and disseminates information on the motor carrier industry. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) used much of the data accumulated by the Office of Information Management as well as date provided by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), and analyzed data pertaining to crashes, inspections, compliance reviews and drug and alcohol testing in order to see how effective many of the FMCSA rules have been.

The findings of the study are vast and cover a variety of topics and issues that are relevant to public safety. One issue that was studied extensively was driver fatigue and the hours of service performed by truck drivers. It was noted that many drivers operate their vehicles while fatigued and that hours of service regulations that attempt to reduce fatigue are not only highly controversial but widely violated.

The LTCCS collected data on driver sleep history, driving hours and fatigue in order to study the effects of fatigue on the driver. Of course, this information was mostly collected through an interview with the particular driver therefore the study mostly relies on the honesty of the driver. The findings were clear that driver fatigue was identified as an important crash cause. It was found that many drivers drive while fatigued and that the hours of service for any particular driver are an important factor in determining whether a driver will experience fatigue while on the road.

It is clear that fatigue is a major cause of the numerous large truck crashes occurring on our roads. This fatigue may not only be the reason why a crash occurred but will also be a factor in proving the truck driver’s negligence as well as the negligence of the Trucking Company the driver is employed with. Contact a skilled truck crash attorney should you or a loved one become injured in a crash and that attorney will ensure that the truck driver and the trucking company are investigated to determine whether the truck driver was violating any of the FMCSA rules. A violation of those rules, such as the rule regarding driver fatigue and hours of service, may be the proof you need to show the truck driver was negligent.

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