Most people are aware of the fact that injuries and fatalities caused by semi trucks happen all the time in our country. Less widely known is just how many injuries and fatalities actually occur. Before looking at that, however, we must find out what a trucking accident actually is. Trucking accidents happen when a trailer of over 10,000 lbs collides with a pedestrian or other vehicle.
The available statistics for trucking incidents are worrying. Some 500,000 trucking accidents happen each year. This means that 1 in eight accidents on the road involve trucks. Also, some 5000 of these incidents cause fatalities. This is worrying, because the trucking industry is growing. Rural areas are the worst, with 68 percent of trucking fatalities happening on these roads. Also, 66 percent happen during daytime hours. Lastly, 78 percent of fatal accidents happen during the weekend.
The biggest issues are accidents caused by intoxicated truck drivers. For example, Oregon saw 1,159 truck accidents in 2004. Year on year, this equated to an 8.1 percent increase. Worryingly, 596 of these accidents were caused because of the negligence of the trucker. The worst day to have been recorded included 13 accidents. The worst trucking company has counted 26 accidents. In terms of these statistics from Organ, it is also important to note that 3.02% of the trucks involved in accidents carried hazardous supplies. It is obvious that something needs to be done. Although the truck driving industry is growing, the number of fatalities has so far stayed the same. However, this doesn’t make it ok as all deaths should be avoided and it is possible that the number will start to grow later. This starts with maintaining trucks appropriately and having well trained drivers, a responsibility that lies with both the truckers and the truck driving companies. Also, regular car drivers should learn about defensive driving. For truckers, however, it is about keeping their distance and following the rules. It is incredibly worrying that many truck drivers are under the influence behind the wheel. However, this is in part due to the fact that they have too much responsibility, placed upon them by financial strain and by the trucking companies. In fact, some believe that the trucking industry is indeed growing, but that the same number of truckers still exist, who all simply have to work much harder to meet demand. This, naturally, is completely unsustainable. Hopefully, things will change soon.