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Commercial Trucking Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving

Everyone who shares America’s roads wants a safe experience while doing so. Unfortunately, the risk for accidents has increased as rural and urban roadways become more congested. Of particular concern, increasing numbers of commercial trucks on interstate and highway roads have led to more accidents, especially accidents caused by distracted driving.

Commercial Truck Driving Accident Statistics

Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents involving commercial trucks continue to go up. According to the National Safety Council:[1]

  • 107,000 large trucks were involved in car crashes that resulted in injury in 2020.
  • 71% of deaths in commercial truck-related accidents are occupants of other vehicles.
  • 4,842 large trucks were involved in fatal car crashes in 2020, a 33% increase since 2011.
  • 4,965 people died in commercial truck-related accidents in 2020, a 31% increase since 2011.
  • Commercial trucks comprise only 4% of all registered vehicles, but they account for 9% of all vehicle crashes.

Research experts have speculated that an increase in commercial trucking on America’s roadways is part of the reason for an increase in traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities. But that’s only part of the story. If everyone who shared the road drove safely, an increase in trucks on the road would not lead to a spike in accidents, injuries, and deaths.

What, then, is causing the rise in commercial truck accidents?

Distracted Driving, Drowsy Driving, and Commercial Trucking

Distracted driving is becoming such a problem in commercial trucking that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has formally announced regulations prohibiting the use of hand-held mobile devices by commercial motor vehicle operators. This announcement was based on FMCSA information like the following:[2]

  • 71% of large-truck crashes occurred when the driver was doing something besides driving the truck.
  • Text messaging while driving increases a truck driver’s chances of being involved in a crash by 23X.
  • 80% of large-truck crashes involve the driver becoming inattentive in the 3 seconds leading up to the crash.
  • Truck drivers who take their attention off the road for just 5 seconds travel 100 yards, distracted, in that period.

While distracted driving is becoming a serious problem for all motorists, truck drivers (individuals who operate huge vehicles that are more difficult to maneuver and take much longer to come to a complete stop), put themselves and others at especially high risk when driving distracted.

Liability and Fault in Commercial Truck Driving Accidents

Cautious driving, staying off of the phone, and focusing on the road at all times are the best defenses against car accidents. But when personal injuries, accidents, and large-truck collisions do occur, families need professional help. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from a collision with a commercial truck, please call NRS Injury Law at 855.977.6670.

Sources:

[1] NSC. “Large Trucks.” National Safety Council, 2021. injuryfacts.nsc.org

[2] FMSCA. “Driver Distraction.” Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 2015. fmcsa.dot.gov

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