Considering that millions of commercial trucks travel throughout South Carolina and across the U.S., it’s not surprising that some are involved in roadway accidents. In fact, the rate of commercial truck crashes has risen by 20 percent over the past decade. For this reason, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has teamed up with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to study the cause of truck accidents.
The result of their collaboration is the Large Truck Crash Causation Study. Researchers studied the data for 120,000 fatal commercial truck crashes that occurred in a 33-month period and found that the truckers themselves were to blame for 68,000 of them. They broke down the causes into four categories: decision, recognition, nonperformance and performance.
Under “decision” fell negligent actions like speeding and misjudging others’ speed. Nearly 40 percent of crashes were due to these poor decisions. The “recognition” category included cases where truckers became inattentive to the road or failed to recognize a potential danger. This accounted for 28 percent of the crashes.
Examples of “nonperformance” include truckers falling asleep at the wheel or suffering from a medical episode. The final category, “performance,” covered situations where truckers overcompensated or panicked, thus losing control of their vehicles. All of this shows how vital it is for transport companies to carefully select their employees.
If a motorist is hurt in an accident caused by a negligent trucker, they may want to consult with an accident attorney and request a case evaluation. If necessary, the lawyer could hire investigators to strengthen the case and then proceed to negotiations with the trucking company’s team of lawyers.