Truck accidents all too common across the US

The FMCSA will study the effect of truck driver compensation plans and safety on our roads.

Most motorists have likely experienced the chilling sensation of looking in the rearview mirror to see a large truck following too closely behind. Unfortunately, large truck accidents happen frequently in the United States, and generally result in serious consequences for all those involved.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 333,000 large truck accidents took place in 2012 across the country. Those collisions resulted in 3,921 people losing their lives and another 104,000 people suffering injuries. In all, the number of people killed in large truck accidents increased by around 4 percent from 2011 to 2012. In addition, the number of people who suffered injuries in such collisions rose a staggering 18 percent from 2011 to 2012.

FMCSA focusing on increasing truck safety

These distressing statistics led the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to initiate a study to determine whether the manner in which truck drivers are paid affects safety on our roads.

Typically, truck drivers are compensated based on the number of miles driven. Consequently, they are not paid for any time spent waiting while their truck is loaded and unloaded.

The FMCSA speculates that safety would improve if truck drivers were compensated for the loading and unloading periods.

Fatigue to blame?

In many cases, experts point to overtired truck drivers as the cause of large commercial vehicle accidents across the country. For instance, the recent well-publicized crash involving actor Tracy Morgan allegedly involved a fatigued truck driver. According to reports, the truck driver being blamed for the collision had not slept for around 24 hours prior to the crash.

Truck drivers are required to take rest periods after a certain number of hours on the road. For instance, following a week of work, truck drivers must take a mandatory 34-hour rest period. That break must include two nighttime periods, during the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., to ensure they are properly rested when they get back on the road.

While these hours of service regulations are intended to prevent fatigued truck drivers from getting on the road, the reality is that many truck drivers continue to drive when fatigued, increasing the danger for all others on the road.

Seek legal advice following a truck accident in Connecticut

In Connecticut, 14 people were killed in collisions involving large trucks in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a collision involving a large truck in Connecticut, you need to seek the counsel of a skilled personal injury attorney. A legal professional will work on your behalf to make certain you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled to account for the damage caused in the crash.

Keywords: trucks, accident, Connecticut