Despite the recent move to remote work and virtual meetings, our chances of getting into a truck accident have gone up. According to the American Trucking Association (“ATA”), the trucking industry transported 80% of all freight in the United States and produced $791.7 billion in revenue in one single year. However, although accounting for only around 3% of all registered vehicles, heavy commercial trucks were involved in roughly 11% of fatal crash deaths.
Despite new technologies and stronger regulations, there has been a 52% increase in trucking accidents since 2009.
Trucks Cause More Damage to Passenger Vehicles
While not all car-truck collisions are the passenger car’s fault, they almost invariably suffer more damage in a collision with a truck. This is why 68% of truck accident fatalities are passenger vehicle occupants.
Trucks can be extremely dangerous when out of control. They are substantially larger and heavier than passenger cars, with the average weight of tractor trailers being 40 tons. Because they’re so heavy, it takes substantially longer for large trucks to come to a stop, so truck drivers have less time to react. Another factor that makes trucks more dangerous is the surface area (both width and height), which affects the maneuverability and stability of the truck.
Why Truck Accidents Are Increasing Recently
Supply Chain Pressures & Tight Labor Markets
There are a variety of reasons why a truck accident may happen, but one major reason is supply chain pressures coupled with a tight labor market. The recent driver shortage has revealed flaws with lean manufacturing that affect American citizens. Manufacturers are having difficulty spreading out shipments as truckloads of products become stalled at ports. As a result, the remaining truckers are forced to double up on trips, causing delays and dangerous circumstances on American roads.
Non-Compliance with Hours Regulations & Drowsy Driving
Truckers sometimes drive more than the allowed hours set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to address supply chain issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, one important rule states that truck drivers are required to have at least 10 hours off before driving up to an 11-hour shift. However, some truckers feel compelled to work longer hours to fulfill employer needs. With supply chain pressures and a drop in transportation workers as a whole, trucker overwhelm hasn’t improved much since the pandemic’s peak.
It goes without saying that before getting behind the wheel, drivers should get a decent night’s sleep and avoid driving late at night or early in the morning. However, it isn’t as easy as telling drivers to simply ‘be more careful’. Companies and partners have a responsibility to avoid putting unreasonable pressures on truck drivers, which is often the root cause of noncompliance with hours regulations and, as a result, overworking and drowsy driving. Companies and truckers must collaborate to develop reasonable work schedules while keeping critical deliveries moving across the country securely.
Innovation, Scaling, Economic Growth in Arizona and The Impacts on Safety
The business and tax-friendly climate in Arizona will continue to attract talent and economic growth. Arizona has always been known for the driving forces behind its economy: The 5 C’s—Copper, Cotton, Citrus, Climate, and Cattle. However, we can add three more C’s into this mix as the Arizona economy continues to rapidly expand and attract new industry players—(Computer) Chips, (Electric) Cars, and Construction.
Let’s put this into perspective: In 2020, Phoenix attracted more new residents than any other U.S. city for the fourth year in a row. 634 companies relocated or expanded to Arizona between 2015 and 2020. Finally, according to a new state analysis, Arizona employers will create more than 720,000 positions by 2030, which is roughly the combined population of Mesa and Gilbert.
While this is great news for the Arizona economy, this growth, scaling, and innovation increases the pace of life in Arizona cities. Growth in our cities is largely out of our personal control, but driving defensively can help reduce our chances of being involved in a truck accident Here are some dangerous conditions to look out for:
- Traffic Jams: Traffic jams on multi-lane highways cause tailgating, irresponsible driving (including speeding and reckless lane changes), and road rage. Drivers and truckers alike frequently feel irritated during delays, road construction, and detours. Impatience, road rage, and risky driving habits can easily contribute to a truck accident Take a breath, be mindful, and make sure to give yourself a few extra minutes to get where you need to go.
- New Residents and Unfamiliarity: States often have road infrastructure varying greatly from the next. For example, some states have feeder roads, roundabouts, tollways, highways, spaghetti junctions—and some may not have any of these. When people move from their respective states with different road networks and terminology, there will inevitably be some confusion. The result? Confused motorists can easily drive against traffic on one-way streets, conduct dangerous u-turns, or unintentionally break other traffic safety laws.
- Excessive Potholes: Potholes can cause drivers to lose control of their cars or damage the tires. Potholes are usually caused by heavy traffic and tractor-trailers moving on roadways that were not originally intended to support such weight.
Contact an Arizona Truck Accident Lawyer
Insurance companies often put profit over people. Not only do they attempt to underpay for damages to your vehicle, but they may also avoid paying your medical bills, leaving you to bear the cost alone. A lawyer will be your advocate, so you aren’t paying for bills that should be covered by insurance.
Garrison Law Firm Is Fighting for Justice in Arizona
We will fight for you if an insurance company refuses to give you the money you are owed. Garrison Law has been bringing justice to the citizens of Arizona for over 30 years. Contact us, so we can fight for you to obtain the just and fair compensation you are entitled to from the insurance companies. Being through a car accident is different so let us bring you peace of mind.