Heavy Truck Accidents and Unneccessary Deaths and Serious Injuries

Written by http://www.monheit.com/truck/20041205102621.html

by: Michael Monheit, Esquire of Monheit Law, P.C. Toll Free: 866-761-1385

How common are injuries from heavy truck accidents?

An accident involving a heavy truck, 18-wheeler, semi, big tractor-trailer truck, often results in death or serious injury. The statistics are shocking. Over 1 million people were involved in nearly 500,000 large truck related accidents in 1999. That resulted in over 5,000 deaths and over 140,000 injuries. Of those injuries from heavy truck accidents, 10's of thousands involved severe brain damage orrepparttar loss of limb. Some trucks weigh over 100,000 lbs when fully loaded. Unloaded, they still weigh over 10,000 lbs. That is 5-10 timesrepparttar 119236 weight of a car.

This problem of heavy truck accidents has been around for years, andrepparttar 119237 data is consistent over time. For example, according torepparttar 119238 Safety Board analysis of Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS), in 1993 there were 3,311 heavy trucks involved in 3,169 fatal accidents, in which 3,783 persons died. The FARS report shows that heavy truck accidents are often caused by truckdriver fatigue. In fact, as many as 30 to 40 percent of all heavy truck accidents are caused by fatiuge ofrepparttar 119239 driver.

What isrepparttar 119240 cost to society of heavy truck accidents?

Injuries and fatalities are notrepparttar 119241 only toll inflicted by heavy truck crashes. For example,repparttar 119242 financial toll that goes along with such crashes impacts commerce, costs of insurance, costs of health care, and costs of good. The NTSB reports thatrepparttar 119243 actual cost of all heavy truck accidetns in 1999 was $34 billion.

What isrepparttar 119244 most likely cause of heavy truck accidents?

The NTSB said, "Because ofrepparttar 119245 significant number of heavy truck-related fatalities andrepparttar 119246 significant role of fatigue in such accidents,repparttar 119247 Board initiated this study of single-vehicle heavy truck accidents to examinerepparttar 119248 role of specific factors, such as drivers' patterns of duty and sleep, in fatigue-related heavy truck accidents and to determine potential remedial actions. The purpose ofrepparttar 119249 Board's study was to examinerepparttar 119250 factors that affect driver fatigue and notrepparttar 119251 statistical incidence of fatigue. Therefore,repparttar 119252 Board specifically selected truck accidents that were likely to include fatigue-related accidents; that is, single-vehicle accidents that tend to occur at night. The Board desired to obtain approximately an equal number of fatigue-related and nonfatigue-related accidents through its notification process." The most common causes of heavy trucks accidents are:

Tractor Trailer Truck Driver Fatigue

Written by http://www.monheit.com/truck/20041204061023.html

by: Michael Monheit, Esquire of Monheit Law, P.C. Toll Free: 866-761-1385

How current an issue is tractor trailer truck driver fatigue?

Truck driver fatigue is a very current issue and has beenrepparttar subject of recent regulatory activity. Truck driver fatigue isrepparttar 119235 subject of new regulations issued byrepparttar 119236 USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) throughrepparttar 119237 FMCSA branch, which handles motor carrier (trucking) issues . Pursuant to these rules, a tractor trailer truck driver may only drive 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off. In addition, in order to prevent driver fatiugue, a tractor trailer truck driver may not drive more than 60 hours in any seven day period. If a driver takes 2.5 days off, he can clean his consecutive hours slate and start at 0 again.

Why not require even stricter time limits to prevent driver fatigue?

Another factor in preventing accidents is driver experience. If stricter guidelines were put in place immediately, there would be an insufficient number of experienced drivers. Thus, while decreasingrepparttar 119238 number of accidents caused by tractor trailer truck driver fatigue, we would see an offset and even increase in total accidents due to those accidents caused by truck driver inexperience.

Are all hours logged, or just driving hours?

The Truckload Carriers Association has stated that drivers "understate their non-driving hours in their log books" and that to improve sales, companies expect their drivers to "wait, unload, and load atrepparttar 119239 shipper's warehouses at no cost torepparttar 119240 shipper" and only then, begin logging time for their 11 hours. This may increaserepparttar 119241 actual work hours by 50%, thus significantly increasesrepparttar 119242 risk of truck driver fatigue.

How common is tractor trailer driver fatiuge in causing accidents?

The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) estimates that truck driver fatigue (lack of sleep, overwork) may be a factor in over a third of all large (semi, 18 wheeler) truck accidents. Further,repparttar 119243 NTSB found that truck driver fatigue wasrepparttar 119244 most likley cause in over 30% of crashes that were fatal torepparttar 119245 fatigued truck driver.

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