In 2014, truck accidents surged to an all-time high all across the country. Mississippi was no exception. In fact, CNN estimates that there is a fatal truck accident 11 times each day. Death tolls from these accidents add up to almost 4,000 every year. Motor vehicle accidents involving trucks also injure another 100,000 people every year.
Why is this happening in the trucking industry? There are a lot of reasons on the table, but chief among them is that truck drivers are overworked. Truck driving means long hours on the road away from family and not always receiving a high salary to make up for it. In fact, the trucking industry is struggling to keep up with consumer demand.
This is made worse by the fact that the trucking industry has a high turnover rate. Thus, the truck drivers who do work may take on longer hours. Companies may also keep drivers on the road in spite of prior accidents and obvious red flags that would otherwise get them fired.
While technology is often blamed for the increase in crashes, Forbes claims it can actually help truck drivers. Many of the safety tech features cars take for granted are not available for trucks. These include features like lane departure warning, air disc brakes and automatic emergency braking systems.
Coupling driver analytics with video surveillance can also help companies to spot unsafe drivers before it is too late and take corrective action. This might involve lowering their hours, encouraging the worker to take vacation time or even suspension.
Because of the size of trucks, other drivers rarely stand a chance in a collision. As a result, it is important to take extra precautionary methods when trucks are around. Try not to follow too closely or to remain stuck between two of them in traffic. You also always want to ensure truck drivers see and hear you when you merge into lanes either before or beside them.