Truck accidents reached an all-time low after the economic downturn in 2008. Since then, the trucking business has been steadily growing once more, and with it, more trucks are appearing on America’s highways. With those trucks comes a predictable rise in auto accidents involving truck drivers. Here are some of the more bizarre reasons these truck drivers are prone to accidents:
- Snoring. (No, really.) It’s no surprise that tired drivers are dangerous drivers. But what if a driver doesn’t even realize he or she is tired? One study demonstrated that truck drivers suffering from sleep apnea (which often causes snoring) performed more poorly on driving tasks. It is also interesting to note that those suffering from sleep apnea did not rate themselves as feeling tired but were found to be tired when measured objectively. This raises the disturbing possibility that these drivers did not even realize they were tired and that their driving could be impaired as a result. In addition, a separate study conducted at Harvard found that untreated sleep apnea makes truck drivers five times more likely to crash.
- The Catch-22 of Scheduling. More accidents occur when there are more vehicles on the road. However, more than twice as many fatal accidents occur during the night than during the day. This makes it difficult – if not impossible – to enact effective laws and government regulations. If nighttime isn’t safe, morning rush hour isn’t safe, and evening rush hour isn’t safe, there are very few hours left to work with.
- Jimmy Carter. In 1980, Congress – at President Carter’s urging – deregulated certain economic aspects of the trucking industry. This made it easier for new carriers to enter the industry, and intense competition among shipping carriers resulted. Predictably, the drive to cut prices and reduce shipping times has caused some carriers to cut corners – particularly where safety is concerned.
- One other unintended consequence of Carter’s deregulation: The intense competition among carriers meant that many small, nonunionized carriers could undercut the prices of larger, unionized carriers. These unions became less powerful, and truck drivers had less cache to insist upon appropriate work schedules, rest periods, and the like. When adjusted for inflation, truck drivers now make less than they did in the 1970s. This has caused greater turnover, which also has a negative impact on driver safety.
Regardless of the many reasons truck accidents occur, the fact remains that an auto accident can be a harrowing experience. If you have been the victim of a truck-related auto accident, you need an experienced attorney to thoroughly investigate the case.
Contact an Experienced Houston Truck Accident Attorney Today
Call 800-898-4877 to schedule your free consultation for any truck-related auto accidents. The experienced team at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law will ensure that your case is pursued aggressively and that you receive the compensation you deserve.