Semi Truck Driver Shortage: Increased Crashes and Tips for Avoiding Them
From delivering groceries to your local store to ensuring your local hospital has necessary supplies, semi trucks are a critical part of our economy. Unfortunately, the US is experiencing a truck driver shortage that increases the likelihood of dangerous and often fatal accidents.
The National Truck Driver Shortage Leads to More Accidents
In 2018, the national truck driver deficit increased by more than 10,000 to 60,800. Now, the American Trucking Association estimates that 160,000 driver positions across the country will go unfilled in a decade. Unfortunately, this deficit may lead to more devastating accidents on the road.
Although federal law limits the number of hours a driver can operate in a day, some trucking companies are still lenient due to a lack of drivers to make necessary runs. Drivers who stay out on the road too long experience drowsiness and fatigue, both of which often lead to serious accidents.
In the Large Truck Crash Causation Study by the FMCSA, 13% of commercial motor vehicle drivers were considered to have been fatigued at the time of their crash.
5 Tips for Avoiding Semi Truck Crashes
Although you can’t prevent a driver from overstaying their welcome on the road, you can follow some simple safety tips to avoid truck crashes as you share the road.
- Avoid blind spots: Semis and other commercial trucks have large blind spots, specifically directly behind and in front of the truck. Don’t drive in these blind spots or beside the truck. Instead, pass the truck or follow at a safe distance.
- Use your turn signals: Semis can’t stop on a dime. Before you change lanes or turn, give the driver proper warning by using your signals.
- Give the truck some space: Give the semi driver at least two car lengths of space whether you’re driving in front of the truck or behind it.
- Don’t drive distracted: You should avoid driving distracted regardless of who you’re sharing the road with. That way, if a semi enters your lane, stops short, or tries to make a wide turn, you’ll be able to act quickly.
- Yield to trucks changing lanes: Although you might think it’s easier to speed up and pass a truck that’s changing lanes, don’t. Instead, yield to the truck as it changes lanes. Then, move on as you wish.
Involved in a Semi Truck Crash? Call an Experienced Accident Attorney.
No matter how safe you drive, accidents happen. If you’ve been hurt in a semi truck crash, there’s help available to you through Brazil Law Group. To learn more about our legal services, send our team a message.