The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) periodically conducts studies on the rate of crashes and compiles data on the fatalities, injuries, property damage, and causes of these types of accidents. The most recent study has shown that the rate of fatalities following a large truck accident has increased by almost 30% since 2009. The study showed that there has been about an 8% increase in large truck accidents since the last time the study was conducted. Furthermore, there has been about a 2% increase in bus accidents. The study also found that the distance traveled by large trucks has increased by about 0.3%. Most pertinent is that at least one driver-related issue was noted for almost 35% of fatalities related to large truck accidents.
Common Causes of Large Truck Accidents in New Mexico
The FMCSA noted that speeding was the most noted driver-related factor in these accidents, but the second was distraction and then impairment. Impairment is considered to consist of things such as illness, intoxication, and fatigue.
Fatigue occurs when a truck driver is physically or mentally exerted to a point at which their performance is impaired. Some common reasons for this may be long work hours, inadequate sleep or rest, and difficult or laborious work.
The FMCSA provides some guidelines to assist drivers in ensuring that they are well rested and equipped to drive safely. These tips are also helpful for trucking company employers to incorporate into their training materials.
One tip is to make sure that the driver has rested enough before driving. An interesting fact is that the likelihood of having a critical safety event is highest within one hour of waking up. Studies suggest that it may be because sleep inertia can be affected shortly after waking up from rest. A way drivers can prevent this is to try to get adjusted to being awake before driving.
Relatedly, a nap should be taken any time the driver thinks that he is experiencing fatigue. Short naps are often more effective at assisting in wakefulness than caffeine. Avoiding substances that may cause drowsiness or a quick decrease in energy can also assist in preventing accidents. A recent study showed that almost 20% of truck drivers reported having taken an over-the-counter drug before being involved in a serious truck accident. It is also important that drivers are in tune with their own body and recognize the signs that they are becoming fatigued. Drivers should not rely on “tricks” to keep them up. Some common tricks are turning the radio on loudly or opening the windows. These things are unlikely to actually wake the driver up for any substantial amount of time.
18-Wheeler and Box Truck Involved in Crash on Highway
Recently, a news article reported on an accident involving an 18-wheeler and a box truck. According to the report, the 18-wheeler had a flat tire, and the driver had pulled over onto the side of the highway while awaiting a service truck. During this time, the box truck was coming down the highway and began to drift off to the side of the road, eventually ramming into the 18-wheeler before flipping over. The driver of the 18-wheeler was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, while the box truck driver suffered serious injuries. At this time, an investigation is ongoing as to why the driver drifted to the side of the road.
Have You Been Injured in an Accident with a Truck in New Mexico?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a New Mexico truck accident, you should contact the attorneys at the Fine Law Firm. New Mexico truck accident cases often involve serious physical injuries and devastating property damage. Additionally, the financial toll of these accidents can be very costly. The attorneys at the Fine Law Firm can assist you in ensuring that you receive the compensation you are entitled to obtain. This compensation may include an award for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and ongoing expenses. Contact one of the attorneys at the Fine Law Firm today at 800-640-6590 to schedule your free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Food Truck’s Propane Tank Explodes, Causing Serious Injuries, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, April 24, 2018.
Court Affirms Summary Judgment in Favor of Business in Recent Premises Liability Case, Citing Open and Obvious Danger, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, April 3, 2018.