Risky Business: Tractor-Trailer Accidents on the Rise

Risky Business: Tractor-Trailer Accidents on the Rise

Tractor-trailers are responsible for transporting 70% of all products and goods across the United States. Unfortunately, these tractor-trailers can pose a serious threat to those they share a road with. There has been a significant increase in trucking accidents over the last decade despite new regulations intended to promote safer transport.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there is an estimated 500,000 tractor-trailer-related accidents every year. Accident statistics cite inexperience, mechanical failure, and fatigue as some of the leading causes of trucking-related crashes.

Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulation 395 a driver can only work 70 hours over 8 days, thus the 70-hour 8-day rule. This has been established in an attempt to decrease the number of tractor-trailer accidents each year due to driver fatigue. Over the course of 8 days, a truck driver cannot exceed more than 11 working hours per day.

While these regulations were intended to minimize the amount of driver fatigue, a survey by the American Transportation Research Institute found that 66% of drivers indicated increased fatigue while driving as a result of the new rules. This may be due to sleep disruption, circadian rhythm, stress about meeting deadlines with enforced resting periods, and other factors that cannot be mitigated by a mandatory rest period.

The Trucking Industry Poses a Serious Threat to Everyday Drivers

Below are some staggering facts about tractor-trailer accidents in the United States:

  • Tractor-trailer accidents are often more severe and dangerous than passenger vehicle accidents due to the weight and size of the trucks.
  • Every 15 minutes there is a trucking accident that results in an injury or fatality.
  • Thursdays are the most dangerous day of the week, with 18% of all trucking-related accidents landing on a Thursday. Monday and Wednesday are noted to have the next highest number of crashes.
  • Tractor-trailer accidents occur most often between 12pm and 3 PM, and 12am-6am, coinciding with the body’s natural decrease in alertness at these times due to dips in the circadian rhythm.
  • 16% of tractor-trailer accidents occur on the weekends.
  • The rate of occupants’ death in big trucks has significantly decreased since 1975. Today, 97% of all fatalities in tractor-trailer crashes are occupants of a passenger vehicle.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a tractor-trailer accident, the experienced lawyers at The Yost Legal Group are here to help. Call 1-800-YOST-LAW (1-800-967-8529) today for a free consultation. We will investigate your case and help you get the justice you deserve. There is no fee unless we recover.