Commercial trucks are a key tool in transporting goods to consumers in Pennsylvania and throughout the country. However, collisions involving large trucks resulted in 4,761 deaths and tens of thousands of injuries in 2017. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck driver error was cited as the cause of one-third of such accidents.
Fatigue is a common cause of large truck accidents
According to one study, truck drivers averaged less than five hours of sleep per day. Those who stay awake for 18 consecutive hours experience the same level of impairment as someone who has a blood alcohol level of .05%. This is according to a statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A separate study that analyzed 120,000 commercial truck crashes found that 13% were caused by fatigued drivers.
Distractions can increase the risk of a collision
A FMSCA study found that distracted driving attributed to 71% of crashes involving commercial vehicles. Commercial drivers may experience a variety of distractions such as looking at maps, talking with a dispatcher or using a cellphone. Research has found that those who use their phones to text while driving are 23 times more likely to cause a critical safety event. In some cases, glancing at a building or other objects outside of the truck can significantly increase a driver’s chances of being in an accident.
Those who are hurt in truck accidents caused by distracted, fatigued or impaired drivers may be entitled to compensation. This may help to pay for current and future medical bills that you might incur to fix a broken bone, a concussion or an internal bleed. An attorney may use phone records, driver statements or other evidence to help you obtain a favorable outcome.