Commercial transportation is a vital element of our economy, and the need for safe vehicles and safe drivers is as critical as ever. Unfortunately, despite massive improvements in driving technology in recent years, accidents involving commercial trucks continue to happen.
In fact, according to this recent article, accident rates have either stayed steady or increased for light-duty and larger trucks in 2018.
Why so many accidents?
In recent years, motor vehicles have only gotten safer. New trucks have better crash-avoidance systems, more cameras on vehicles and telematics programs to identify high-risk behaviors. There are also highly visible campaigns and enforcement efforts to reduce distracted and drunk driving.
So, why are there still so many accidents?
Unfortunately, one of the main causes continues to be human error. Truckers are at a high risk of driving while drowsy or fatigued. And the current trucker shortage means that companies may be pushing drivers beyond the point where they can drive safely. They may also be hiring unqualified, unsafe or untrained drivers to operate commercial vehicles.
Staying safe, knowing what to do
So, what can everyone do to stay safe and avoid a catastrophic accident with a commercial vehicle?
Truckers and trucking companies must make safe driving and safe vehicles their top priorities. Putting a dangerous driver behind the wheel of a dangerous vehicle in an attempt to save money puts everyone at risk.
Motorists must be especially mindful when sharing the road with commercial vehicles. Give them plenty of space and don’t assume they can see you.
Unfortunately, not everyone can or will take these steps to prevent a truck crash. As such, it is also important to know what to do if an accident does occur.
After a crash, it is crucial for victims to seek immediate medical attention and file a police report. It can also be wise to discuss the accident with an attorney who can help collect evidence and identify the negligent or reckless party responsible for the crash and resulting damages.