New National Study Finds Increase in Deadly Tractor Trailer Accidents
A recent study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determined that the number of deadly collisions and accidents involving tractor trailers is on the rise nationwide.
The study focused specifically on the safety of the tires used on tractor trailers in relation to road speed, and examined data collected between the years of 2009 and 2013. Many of the study's findings are quite troubling and could result in more government regulation and oversight of tractor trailer drivers throughout the U.S.
One of the main conclusions of this NHTSA study was that higher speed limits in many states throughout the country are contributing to an increase in the rate of collisions and accidents involving tractor trailers.
According to the study, most truck tires used on tractor trailers are engineered to withstand speeds of up to 75mph, and any rate of speed above that limit drastically increases the risk of tire failure or blowouts. Despite these safety restrictions, 16 states in the U.S have posted speed limits for trucks of at least 75mph, and 4 states even allow truck drivers to exceed that limit at 80mph.
The Executive Vice President of the American Trucking Association (ATA) stated in the study that he had spoken out against raising the speed limit for trucks above 65mph, and that he was in favor of imposing a nationwide speed cap for truck drivers.
Here are some other findings from the NHTSA that demonstrate the scope of this serious safety issue:
• Between 2009 and 2013, heavy buses and tractor trailers were responsible for
14,000 fatal accidents in the U.S.
• Nationwide in 2012 alone, 3,921 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks and another 104,000 were injured. These figures increased 4% from the previous year.
• In California in 2012, 3,848 vehicles were involved in fatal crashes involving large trucks.
• In 2012, the state of California ranked #2 in the U.S in terms of total amount of large trucks involved in fatal crashes with 244.
Both tractor trailer and passenger vehicle drivers have a responsibility to behave safely and responsibly while on our nation's roads and highways.
Unfortunately, truck drivers are often faced with unrealistic and excessive expectations in their work, and this can lead to serious and even deadly accidents. Attempting to drive for hundreds of miles at a time and going days on end with little to no sleep in order to meet deadlines can cause distraction, driver fatigue, and leads to unsafe rates of speed which can cause tire blowouts or mechanical failures.
For this reason, it is important for motorists in passenger vehicles to be aware of where tractor trailers are positioned on the road, and to give truck drivers ample time to see your vehicle and make necessary adjustments before attempting to pass or get around a truck. Keep yourself out of the blind spots of truck drivers by ensuring that you can see their side-view mirrors at all times.
Remember that if you cannot see a truck driver's mirror, it is likely that he or she cannot see your vehicle either. Also keep in mind that tractor trailers have a wide turning radius, so never attempt to pass a truck that is signaling for a turn.
Here are some other helpful tips to keep in mind when sharing the road with tractor trailers. If all drivers in California and the United States follow these simple safety precautions, we can help reduce the number of deadly accidents involving tractor trailers nationwide.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an car accident involving a tractor trailer, you will need an experienced legal team by your side. Dealing with medical bills, insurance companies and trucking companies can be a difficult process. At Del Rio & Carichoff Sacramento, California Accident and Personal Injury law firm, we focus on settling these matters so that you can focus on your recovery.
Calltoday to receive a FREE, confidential and no-obligation consultation with an experienced Sacramento Car and Truck Accident attorney. We will help you understand the details of your case and will fight hard so that you receive the compensation you deserve.