According to recent researched performed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the number of vehicular accidents involved large trucks or passenger buses are increasing. In 2009, the country saw a significant decline of 37 percent – from 95,000 to 60,000 incidents. This decrease has since been followed by a massive increase of 55 percent, unfortunately. More truck drivers are involved in accidents than ever before.
Reasons for Truck Accidents
There are many known reasons for truck accidents having occurred, according to the FMCSA, though the top ten reasons include:
- Brake troubles
- Traffic flow
- Prescription drug use
- Traveling too fast
- Unfamiliarity with roadways
- Roadway issues
- Required to stop (crosswalk, traffic control devices)
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Inadequate surveillance systems
Why an Increase?
The recent increase in truck accidents is widely blamed on inexperienced drivers, long overtime houses, low pay, and the high turnover rate for truck drivers. The trucking industry has always noticed a significant loosening of regulations, which could be a major contributor to the accidents we’re seeing.
In the past few years, Congress has worked tirelessly to push back safety improvements ordered by regulators. Congress, despite outcry from various organizations, has:
- Fought to allow truck drivers to work up to 82 hours per week, instead of 70 hours over eight days, as is current regulation
- Discouraged the FMCSA from investing in wireless devices to improve the monitoring of vehicles and drivers
- Demonstrated a profound willingness to allow longer and heavier trucks on public roads, despite public opposition everywhere
Lastly, Congress is in favor of lowering the minimum age for truck drivers, which is a major cause for concern. Age and inexperience are a top reason for so many trucking accidents in recent years.