There are 450,000 truck crashes per year in the US between the nation’s 3.5 million truck drivers. Put another way, truck drivers are just 0.00015% of all licensed drivers on the road but are involved in 12% of all crashes. How is this even possible? Why are there so many trucking accidents?
Lax Training and Negligent Hiring
A little less than half of all truck accidents are the fault of the truck driver. While there are many causes for these crashes including negligent maintenance and pressure from management, driver experience is at an all-time low.
According to trucking interest groups, the truck driver turnover rate is somewhere around 94% for large companies. That means more truck drivers are hauling longer routes or going past their hours of service limits to fill the gaps. It also means there are fewer experienced truck drivers on the road, which has resulted in a push from the trucking lobby to get as many drivers on the road as fast as possible.
Starting in February 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration now requires zero “theory hours” and just 20-hours of behind-the-wheel experience to test for a trucking license. This is potentially disastrous and endangers every single driver on the road. Without sufficient training, we are likely to see even more trucking crashes in the coming years.
Driver Education and Inexperience
On the other hand, about 80% of two-vehicle truck accidents are the fault of a passenger vehicle. Many drivers get nervous whenever they get near a large truck and trucking questions are rarely featured on either the written test or the behind-the-wheel driving test. It points to the troubling conclusion that most people don’t know how to drive safely around large trucks.
We’re all responsible for road safety. There are 6,000,000 car accidents in the US each year, and most of them are entirely preventable. We believe that reducing these crashes starts with better driver education for everyone, truckers and regular drivers both.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries or even wrongful death in a trucking crash, you might have a case. If you’d like an experienced Riverdale auto accident attorney from Law Offices of Falanga & Chalker to evaluate your case, please don’t hesitate to send us an email or call (470) 450-1164.