The most recent Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) Analysis released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveals statistical data that can be used in determining the critical safety issues affecting the transportation industry and information about how to address those issues to make America’s roadways safer. The study – commissioned by the FCMSA and the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) – is part of the government’s commitment to making highways safer as outlined in the 1999 Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act.
The study involved statistical analysis of nearly 1,000 large truck accidents around the nation and involved a large enough sample to allow industry experts to hypothesize about the top ten causes of all trucking accidents. Since there are approximately 500,000 semi truck crashes annually – resulting in around 5,000 fatalities – knowing why and how these accidents occur can literally save lives.
The Top Causes of Large Truck Crashes The LTCCS revealed the top ten causes of large truck accidents according to analysis of statistical crash data. They range from driver fatigue to improper vehicle maintenance, the majority of them relating to safety violations. The study found that approximately 66 percent of all commercial trucks have at least one documented violation of state or federal regulations designed to keep the trucks operational and in the safest possible condition.
Many of the violations involved a critical vehicle component like the tires or the braking system. The most common causes of large truck accidents, though, seem to be distracted or fatigued drivers. The FMCSA’s new Hours-Of-Service rules – just released in late 2011 – will hopefully help cut down on the instances of overtired drivers climbing behind the wheel of their big rigs, as will state and federal regulations governing the use of mobile phones behind the wheel.
The use of hand-held cell phones, PDAs, tablets, laptops, CB radios, mp3 players and other electronic devices will likely continue to distract drivers when they need to keep their full attention focused on controlling their trucks. Regardless of the cause, if you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a semi truck or 18-wheeler, seek the advice of a skilled personal injury attorney in your area to learn more about your legal rights and options.