Georgia drivers often have to share the road with large trucks, and this can be intimidating to some, particularly when they consider the number of accidents involving big rigs. One way to promote safety is to identify the factors that contribute to trucking accidents so that they can be worked on and fixed.
When it comes to trucks, two factors that have been identified as increasing the risk of accidents are long hours behind the wheel and safety defects in the trucks. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the risk of motor vehicle collisions is tripled when there are safety defects in the vehicles. A study by the IIHS focusing on how safety issues affect crashes found that in three-quarters of the crashes studied, the trucks had safety defects. Where there are out-of-service violations, the trucks were at four times greater risk for crashing.
Similarly, tired truck drivers were another major factor. Truckers who drove past 12 hours since their last extended sleep were at an 86 percent higher risk of crashing than truckers who drove less than 8 hours. Truckers who drove more than five hours without stopping were also at a higher risk than those who drove one to five hours. Short-haul drivers often employ the short-haul exemption to working hours, typically drive fewer miles and involve owner-operators and smaller trucks, yet in the study, they had almost five times higher risk of crashing and had a higher risk of vehicle defects. One way to begin preventing these factors from causing more accidents is through the use of technology, such as anti-lock braking systems.
Drivers and passengers who are injured in trucking accidents have the option of pursuing a personal injury claim for damages. They might hire a lawyer to help them fill out and file forms, contact the insurance companies and attempt to negotiate a settlement.