Truck accidents have the potential to cause extreme destruction, so it is important that truck drivers be held to a higher standard of driving than other motorists. Many non-commercial drivers have bad driving habits that cause accidents every year. Aggressive driving, fatigued driving and distracted driving are risks that operators of an 80,000-pound vehicle cannot be allowed to take.
Fortunately, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidelines are extremely strict, limiting the number of hours a commercial vehicle operator can drive and completely banning cell phone use. Commercial vehicle drivers can do no more than press a single button on a cell phone, and they are not allowed to text or take calls directly from a mobile phone while driving.
Fatigued driving has killed or injured many motorists, such as comedian Tracy Morgan, who recently sustained a traumatic brain injury after being hit by a fatigued Wal-Mart truck driver. Hours-of-service rules recently adopted by the FMCSA limit the number of hours a truck driver may work, down from 82 hours to 70 hours.
Aggressive driving, also known as “road rage”, can cause unsafe driving, such as abrupt lane changes, tailgating and speeding. Estimates by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration claim that since 1990, as many as 13,000 people may have died because of aggressive driving.
Recent Truck Accidents Show They Cause Massive Damage
With so many regulations adopted by the FMCSA and utilized by commercial drivers, there are few excuses for causing devastating wrecks that kill and injure dozens.
A recent outbreak of truck accidents have occurred in New Jersey and one of them appeared completely avoidable. The accident caused a chain reaction crash on the New Jersey Turnpike that involved two other semi-trucks and a passenger bus.
Ten people on the passenger bus were injured, and four had to be taken to the hospital in critical condition. The crash occurred when a semi-truck tried to make an unsafe lane change into the high occupancy lane, clipping the back of the passenger bus and creating a series of car accidents. Another crash last week sent debris flying all over the New Jersey Highway when a FedEx truck dodged a tire in the middle of the road, and a week before that, a fuel truck exploded in the middle of a busy street.
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Did You Know? National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that over 1,500 people a year die from drowsy driving.
You can read more about the recent truck accident mentioned in our blog by visiting NJ.com.