Are truck drivers becoming more dangerous to others on the roads? That’s a serious question to ask if you’ve been in an accident with another driver. Truckers drive heavy vehicles, and their mistakes can cost you your life.
In the United States, trucking regulations have been loosened instead of tightened, making it more likely for drivers to cause accidents. The problem with loosening safety rules is that drivers are pushed to the limit, and, often, employers are the ones pushing them to work all the hours they can to get a job done.
Truck-related deaths were at their lowest during the economic crisis in 2009. In that year, only 2,983 truck accidents occurred, taking the lives of 3,380 people. In the most recent year with published statistics, 2013, 3,541 crashes killed 3,964 people. That’s an increase of over 17 percent in around four years. 2014’s initial numbers showed that deaths were down again, but the number of collisions had increased. Again, there were more people suffering injuries on the roads.
Interestingly, one of the most dangerous things to do behind the wheel is to be driving when drowsy. The truck industry is aware that sleep apnea is a common disorder, and it can leave drivers too tired to drive the long hours the industry requires. When a driver is behind the wheel and falls asleep, the results could be catastrophic.
What causes so many truck drivers to have this condition? Some believe it’s to do with the potential for gaining weight, which is linked to the condition. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration attempted to have a regulation passed requiring drivers to have a sleep apnea test, but the industry was outraged. It did not pass, and now drivers are not required to have a test for sleep apnea if they are overweight.
With regulations loosening, accidents may continue to increase. If you’re hurt or injured in a crash, it’s important to file a claim and to reach out for assistance with your case.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Trucks Are Getting More Dangerous And Drivers Are Falling Asleep At The Wheel. Thank Congress.,” Michael McAuliff, accessed Feb. 17, 2017