What Causes Large Truck Accidents?
PENN — A The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and adheres to the focus of saving lives, preventing injuries, and reducing economic costs due to road traffic crashes, through education, research, safety standards, and enforcement activity.
Also part of the Department of Transportation is the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) who created the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) in March 2006. This study covered numerous factors that contribute to truck crashes. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) identifies areas that need to be addressed for effective crash countermeasures.
A national sample of large-truck fatal and injury crashes was investigated during 2001 to 2003 at 24 sites in 17 states. Each crash involved at least one large truck and resulted in at least one fatality or injury. Data were collected on up to 1,000 elements in each crash. The total sample involved 967 crashes, which included 1,127 large trucks, 959 non-truck motor vehicles, 251 fatalities, and 1,408 injuries.
"The facts are clear that these injuries and fatalities are happening at an alarming rate and the legislature needs to take action", states Jim Ronca, Pennsylvania truck accident attorney representing New Jersey and Pennsylvania victims. "We are working on efforts to bring about limits on the speed that trucks can travel in an effort to reduce the number of deaths." Contact Jim Ronca about your truck accident injuries or loved ones wrongful death.
Driver recognition and decision errors were the type of driver mistakes coded by crash investigators or law enforcement officials most often for the trucks and passenger vehicles. Truck drivers, however were coded less frequently for both driving performance errors and non-performance problems than passenger vehicle drivers.
In crashes between trucks and passenger vehicles, driving too fast for conditions and fatigue were important factors cited for both drivers. Fatigue was coded twice as often for passenger vehicle drivers and speeding more often for truck drivers. Brake problems were coded for almost 30 percent of the trucks but only 5 percent of the passenger vehicles.
The Large Truck Crash Causation Study contains the same type of descriptive data as the primary national traffic safety databases, but furthermore focuses on pre-truck-crash factors such as driver fatigue and distraction, vehicle condition, weather, and roadway problems. This makes the LTCCS the only national examination of all factors related to causation in large truck crashes.
Putting on the Brakes
Prioritizing safety rules for heavy trucks should include driver fatigue, tire failure and the ability to use electronic-controlled braking systems. Truck brake performance or lack of is a major factor contributing to large truck crashes.
Are disc air brakes with electronic control a solution? Stopping distances could be reduced by as much as 30 percent through the use of disc brakes and more powerful front axle brakes.
Another concern is heat buildup in tires that may result from under-inflation, overloading, high-speed operation, sub-par tire design, or a combination of these factors.
NHTSA also wants to develop a warning system to alert drivers before they fall asleep. The purpose is to reduce the more than 100,000 injuries and deaths associated with drowsiness involving both commercial and passenger vehicles.
Unfortunately sleepy drivers are not aware of their deteriorating condition. Even if they are they are aware, truck drivers are motivated to keep driving to arrive on time.
"If you have been injured or a family member has died in a fatal truck accident caused by a truck driver who lost control of his truck caused by bad brakes," says Jim Ronca, truck accident lawyer. "You could be eligible for a truck accident personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Do not delay. Contact me today."