Despite major advancements in driver safety and technology, accidents involving large trucks are only increasing.
The World Health Organization estimates that it will be one of the five leading causes of death by 2030.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 4,136 fatal truck crashes in 2018, which is 31 percent more than a decade earlier. They also noted that 96% of the victims were occupants of passenger vehicles.
While it’s still important to keep employees safe, the costs that come with damages and lawsuits on their own can cripple your trucking business. A single collision is capable of causing major harm to your company, workers and reputation.
Even if your driver wasn’t at fault, the party responsible for the accident will likely deny any liability.
Fortunately, there are several ways that 18-wheeler truckers and their employers can protect themselves from crashes. Read on to learn more.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces guidelines for commercial registration and licensing. Their recent study collected the primary factors that result in large truck accidents, which include:
- Brake failure
- Interruptions to traffic flow
- Prescription drug use
- Exceeding speed limits
- Unfamiliarity with roads
- Inadequate surveillance
As you can see, improper maintenance is one of the biggest contributors to crashes. There should be measures in place to ensure that your vehicles are mechanically sound before each trip.
Don’t forget about the truck size and weight regulations set by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.
Driver inattention is another major cause of trucking accidents. The common problem was responsible for 398 deaths in 2018 according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Your employees can reduce distracted driving by:
- Limiting smartphone use to emergencies
- Installing driver monitoring technology
- Using GPS tools that are easy to operate
- Implementing hands-free communication systems
Find an Attorney
Taking every measure to keep your drivers safe on the road isn’t always enough. Crashes can still happen, and it’s what you do beforehand that matters.
Your main priorities are to find a reputable truck accident lawyer and invest in the appropriate insurance policies. This will make a world of a difference to the well-being of your drivers and finances in the event of any unexpected incidents.
Attorneys protect you from legal liability and insurers prevent cash flow problems resulting from vehicle repairs.
Train Your Drivers
Aside from distractions, driver impairment can also stem from other factors. For instance, poor mental health and long hours on the road, coupled with lack of sleep, are prevalent among truckers today.
Your company should put an emphasis on making sure that every driver is happy, healthy, and not overworked.
No less important is providing the necessary training and equipping drivers with the skills they need to effectively navigate challenging roads. Implement hiring practices to avoid inexperienced or incompetent drivers.
Performing regular drug tests and staying informed about any prescriptions that workers are taking is also a good idea.
With the solutions available today, you might want to consider using collision mitigation technology as well. This will all come together to vastly reduce the chances of your employees being involved in 18-wheeler truck accidents.