Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck driver fatigue is, and has been an issue in many fatal accidents . It is believed to have accounted for approximately ten percent of all fatal car crashes between 2009 and 2011. The safety of commercial drivers deteriorates easily when fatigue is a factor. These drivers have long hours driving trucks and their work schedules are irregular. To stay safe, many truck drivers take adequate off-duty time and frequent short rest breaks while driving.
One study looked at impacts of off-duty time as well as and short rest breaks on the safety of commercial truck driving. They found that when a driver increased the total rest break time, there were fewer truck-related crashes due to fatigue. In the same way, having more rest breaks helped reduce the number of fatigue-related crashes. Two rest breaks seem adequate in a ten hour trip. More rest breaks don’t seem to add to safety. The duration of the rest break should be about 30 minutes. The rest breaks shouldn’t be too soon after starting the trip because such breaks would be less effective.
The trucking industry has been concerned about obstructive sleep apnea in commercial driver for many decades. With sleep apnea, the trucker gets poor sleep that can affect their ability to drive safely. This leads to an increase in truck accidents, which can be fatal. Combine poor sleep, long driving times and short sleep times and you get accidents. Drivers are required to have a physical every two years to stay certified. Examiners are now encouraged to do a sleep study on these drivers to rule out obstructive sleep apnea. There are also written score tests that can help define who needs a sleep study and who does not.
Commercial driving is a hazardous job, having the third highest rate of fatality among jobs in the US. The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea among US commercial truck drivers is estimated to be 17-28 percent. Unfortunately, screening for this disorder is not mandated by US law. The researchers provide the reader with an evidence-based screening tool that can help define who needs further screening. Such screening testing led to an increase in the identification of commercial drivers who could then be treated for the disorder.
The number of trucking accidents has increased significantly over the last two decades. Federal laws and regulations govern the trucking industry. These laws establish standards that trucking companies, owners, and drivers must meet, and often determine who is responsible for a trucking accident. More info can be found here.
When it comes to trucking accidents there are a host of players who may be responsible for a victims injuries and damages including the following: