Experts Weigh In On Increase In Semi-Truck Accidents
In 2020, there was a massive drop in the overall number of car accidents for reasons that ought to be clear. More folks were working from home, fewer vehicles on the road, which meant fewer traffic accidents. But what if I told you that of the accidents that did occur, a larger percentage of them were fatal?
Fast forward to 2021. We are no longer in quarantine, and there are no restrictions on entertainment. The number of cars on the road has gone (more or less) back to normal. The number of traffic accidents has escalated and the number of fatal traffic accidents has also escalated. In other words, we’re facing unprecedented numbers of traffic fatalities.
Supply chain issues and hiring boom
Logistics is one of the most massively growing industries in the country, but that has happened without some problems. All truck companies are required to provide training to drivers. A specific amount of training must be completed and it must be completed in a specific way. Drivers must be comfortable operating the rigs they will be in control of. When a trucking company puts a big rig into the hands of an employee, they are entrusting that employee with the vehicle. If the employee isn’t qualified or is underqualified, the company is liable for negligently entrusting their vehicle to an unqualified driver.
Hiring boom results in more under-skilled drivers
Right now, we’re only talking about issues involving law-abiding trucking companies attempting to make the best effort to hire and train drivers while simultaneously meeting supply-chain demands. There are cases where trucking companies perform 0 due diligence on drivers, hire drivers with suspended CDLs, or hire drivers with no CDL at all. We’re not interested in bad actors. We’re interested in cultural or societal stressors causing a spike in accidents.
Prior to the pandemic, there were whispers in the trucking industry that they were unable to recruit enough drivers to meet the demand. Meanwhile, the federal government imposed hours of operation standards that required drivers to take frequent breaks and capped the number of hours they could drive during a week. This required more folks to come on as drivers. This placed more inexperienced drivers on the road. This led to a spike in the overall percentage of fatal accidents since accidents involving large commercial trucks are much more likely to be fatal than two commuter vehicles.
The problem is not limited to commuters on the road. When a truck driver dies in a trucking accident, there is a 64% chance that the other driver was driving a semi-truck himself. So the stakes for the drivers themselves have also increased and truck drivers are increasingly becoming the victims of industry pressures.
Talk to a Florida Truck Accident Attorney Today
The Coral Gables tire defect attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert handle both simple and complex cases involving commercial trucks. Simple cases involve an allegation that the truck driver committed a traffic infraction while complex cases involve allegations directly against the trucking company for negligent hiring or training. Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.