When you’ve driven down 1-95, no doubt you’ve driven alongside huge 18-wheel semi-trucks on occasion. If you’re like many, you probably try to get around these enormous vehicles as quickly as possible. After all, semi-trucks are much bigger than your average car, and a collision with a semi could end very badly (especially for the smaller vehicle)! This week, we’d like to go over some statistics on commercial truck driving and look at what safety factors go into driving these large trucks.
Driving Commercial Trucks
While the thought of being behind the wheel of a ginormous truck might make a lot of people nervous, large vehicles are vital for the transportation of all kinds of goods. Someone has to get merchandise from point A to point B, after all! As a matter of fact, 80% of cargo in the US was transported by trucks in 2016 according to Business Insider. The same article goes on to say that there were about 3.5 million truck drivers that year – it is one of the most common jobs. Interestingly, Business Insider dubbed this profession as “the most hazardous job out there.” While this might be debatable, it is widely known that truck drivers often work long hours. Drivers might work up to 70 hours in a workweek according to Jobs.net, which is a little scary when you consider that being tired while driving can become a safety concern. Laws are in place to mitigate this, capping a driver’s time on the road at 11 hours per day. And, while it’s hard to say exactly what causes semi-truck accidents, 11 hours is a long time to be behind the wheel by most people’s standards!
Truck Accident Stats
So, when it comes to truck accidents, what kind of numbers are we looking at? Well, an estimated 130,000 people are injured in truck accidents every year. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that in 2016, 12% of fatal accidents were attributed to large trucks and busses. Most of these accidents occurred in rural areas.
It’s true that driving large commercial trucks can be dangerous. But, driving any vehicle can be! One thing to take into account is that to obtain a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, one must generally undergo training and take safety courses. In some cases, special licenses are needed depending on the size of the vehicle, the company, and the materials being transported. So, the next time you’re pulling up next to a semi on the highway, remember that the driver probably has gone through enough training to know what he or she is doing.
If you are ever involved in a truck accident in the Melbourne, FL area of Brevard County, our legal team at Nance Cacciatore are here to assist you. We are a personal injury law firm and represent clients that have suffered from the negligence of others. Car crashes happen all the time, and if you’re unfortunate enough to be in one, our experienced personal injury attornies will work with you to ensure you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Please give our Brevard County firm a call today for more information.