The Demand for Delivery of Goods Spawns an Increase in Commercial Truck Accidents
The “on-demand economy” is upon us. More than ever people are turning to apps like Uber and Lyft for ride-sharing, Grubhub for home-delivered eats, Stop & Shop Peapod for groceries, or services like Amazon Prime to have anything from dish soap to fashion accessories delivered directly to their door within a day or two. This “I want it now” culture has caused a tremendous increase in delivery trucks, often operating on more time sensitive deadlines that populate roads and highways across Cape Cod and throughout Massachusetts. It should come as no surprise that with the increased demand for goods causes a higher incident of car accidents involving commercial trucks.
Commercial Truck Accidents Can Be Fatal
When a car, SUV or any other passenger vehicle is involved in a collision with a larger commercial truck, the injuries are often severe and often deadly for the occupants of the smaller vehicle. This is due to the vulnerability of the passengers in the smaller vehicle. A commercial delivery truck can weigh more than 20 times the weight of an average passenger vehicle, plus they are much taller and have higher ground clearance. Because of their size, trucks take much longer to bring to a stop, and their momentum can be crushing to smaller venerable vehicle. A collision with a truck would likely leave the smaller vehicle occupants with catastrophic personal injury and possibly accidental death.
Dangerous Driving Habits Can Lead to Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Companies like UPS, FedEx, Walmart and Amazon are scrambling to keep up with the demand of increased online orders, which means that their drivers are out there on our highways and in our neighborhoods rushing to meet tougher deadlines and quotas. Dangerous driving behaviors like distracted driving, aggressive driving and drowsy driving have been proven to lead to truck accidents.
- Distracted Driving – This is the leading cause of car accidents and truck accidents in Massachusetts. Truckers spend hours on end sitting behind the wheel driving their rig, so the temptation to look at things like social media and text messaging often arise through boredom or the need to multitask;
- Trucker Fatigue – Truckers’ routes often include hundreds of miles, which can wear on even the most experienced drivers. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. In order to prevent driver fatigue or drowsy driving, there are federal regulations which limit the amount of time a commercial truck driver can log driving per week;
- Speeding Truck Drivers – The trucking world is a world of traffic, deadlines and quotas, so it’s no surprise that a truck driver may be tempted to speed. An eighteen-wheeler can weigh more than 20 times the weight of an average passenger vehicle. A big rig like this may not be able to slow down or react suddenly to another vehicle in its path, and;
- Road Rage / Aggressive Driving – In addition to speeding, many truck accidents are caused by road rage and unsafe and aggressive driving practices. A hurrying trucker might tailgate a car in its passing lane or fail to see a vehicle when changing lanes. The best defense against finding yourself in a car accident with a commercial vehicle is to drive defensively. Be extra cautious around larger trucks, keep an eye out for warning signs of a dangerous truck driver including, speeding, frequent lane changes and tailgating.