Some Tennessee drivers might not think twice about it, but the job of a truck driver is often no easy task. In addition to extended periods of time on the road, tight schedules and limited food options, truckers must grapple with perhaps the biggest challenge of the job: the truck itself. These road giants are powerful, making them both efficient and dangerous. How common are truck accidents, and what are some of the typical causes of crashes?
One 2014 report from CNBC expressed concern over the rising number of truck accidents in the country. According to the report, fatal truck crashes happen 11 times a day on average, claiming over 4,000 lives each year. There are roughly 100,000 nonfatal truck crashes that happen annually — a number that has steadily risen since 2009. And while many might assume that reasons for crashes simply trace back to poor driving habits, CNBC reveals the unsettling truth that countless truckers are pressured to deliver goods within strict timeframes, causing them to rush on the road. CNBC also criticizes the industry as a whole for not making speedier efforts to get safety technology devices installed in trucks.
Strict deadlines are only one of a long string of reasons why truckers experience horrific crashes. Findlaw sheds light on the driving habits of all others on the road, noting that a common cause of truck crashes involves a passenger vehicle driver’s underestimation — or overestimation — of a truck’s abilities. Some drivers mistakenly believe that a truck can break as quickly as a passenger vehicle; this is hardly the case. Other drivers make poor decisions to pass a semi-trailer truck when it is not safe to do so. Findlaw also points to inadequate trucker training, unrealistic schedules and unsafe speeds as other causes of acccidents in this industry. Learning more about the safety of the trucking industry itself can help one better prepare in the case of an unfortunate incident.