American Trucking Associations (ATA) has said, “The trucking industry is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. Over 70% of all the freight tonnage moved in the U.S. goes on trucks. Without the industry and our truck drivers, the economy would come to a standstill.” That’s true, but truck drivers are expected to follow certain rules, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) hours-of-service limits. These regulations were put in place because drowsiness affects reaction time. One FMCSA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study of 963 crashes involving 1,123 large trucks that caused 249 deaths and 1,654 injuries revealed that 13 percent of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers were fatigued when their truck accident occurred.
Other Common Truck Accident Causes
The FMCSA and NHTSA study coded accident factors as critical events, i.e., actions or events that made a collision unavoidable, and critical reasons, i.e., what caused the critical event. The following were the most common.
Critical events assigned to commercial trucks:
- Running off the road or drifting into another lane (32 percent)
- Losing control due to driving too fast for weather or road conditions, shifting cargo, or other reasons (29 percent)
- Running into the rear end of another vehicle (22 percent)
Critical reason categories assigned to commercial trucks:
- Non-Performance, meaning the driver fell asleep behind the wheel or was impaired due to a heart attack, seizure, or some other reason.
- Recognition, meaning something in- or outside the truck distracted the driver.
- Decision, meaning the truck driver misjudged how fast other vehicles were traveling or how wet the road was, or he/she was following other vehicles too closely.
- Performance, meaning the driver panicked and oversteered.
Of course, determining the cause of a commercial truck accident is never that simple. Below, you’ll see other factors that came into play.
- Brake problems (41,000 trucks)
- Unfamiliarity with the road (31,000 drivers)
- Problems with the road itself (29,000 drivers)
- Use of over-the-counter drugs, such as cold medicine (25,000 drivers)
- Inadequate attention (20,000 drivers)
- Pressure from the carrier to deliver the load quickly (16,000 drivers)
- An illegal maneuver (13,000 drivers)
- Inattention (12,000 drivers)
- A distraction outside the truck (11,000 drivers)
- A tire problem, such as a blowout (8,000 trucks)
- Sickness (4,000 drivers)
- A distraction inside the truck (3,000 drivers)
- Use of illegal drugs (3,000 drivers)
- Use of alcohol (1,000 drivers)
Ohio Commercial Truck Accident Statistics
Of the 302,307 accidents that occurred in Ohio between January and December 2015, more than 24,000 involved medium- to large-sized trucks. The NHTSA defines a large truck as one that weighs more than 10,000 pounds.
Florida Commercial Truck Accident Statistics
From Alachua to Zolfo Springs, Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System (FIRES) provides a county-by-county look at the number of commercial vehicle crashes that have occurred so far this year and in years 2011 through 2016. You can also learn the number of fatalities and injuries those accidents caused.
Talk to an Ohio and Florida Truck Accident Attorney About Your Injury
If you were seriously injured in a collision with a commercial truck or tractor-trailer, contact attorney Tom Robenalt. His previous experience working for an insurance defense firm can help you get the compensation you deserve. Ohio and Florida limit the amount of time you have to file a claim, so call (216) 223-7535, email [email protected], or fill out this online form today for a free consultation.