Several factors can combine to make truck driving both a challenging and dangerous occupation. Truck drivers must evade the risks they face from distracted drivers, construction barriers, inclement weather, and other hazards while transporting goods across America. These dangers can present anytime a truck driver takes to the road, but some times of the day have proven to be more dangerous than others.
When Do Most Trucking Accidents Occur?
It would stand to reason that most truck accidents would happen when there is a lot of traffic on the road or during the nighttime hours when a driver may struggle with visibility. But statistically, more accidents involving trucks take place from six in the morning until six in the evening. And the three-hour window from noon to three p.m. is the time of day when the most fatalities from these trucking accidents occur.
Many people also assume that weekends are the most likely time of the week for trucking accidents. Weekends are the time when most accidents involving passenger vehicles occur. But truck drivers need to pay close attention to the road hazards they encounter Monday through Friday.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Board reports that eight out of ten accidents involving trucks happen on weekdays. One reason for this statistic is that drivers for shipping companies often work on weekdays and rest on weekends. So, it may be a matter of more trucks being on the road during the week. The day of the week that sees the most trucking accidents is Thursdays.
Truck Accident Trends
Despite government efforts at state and federal levels, the frequency of truck accidents continues to increase. Statistics from the NHTSA show a nine percent increase in trucking accidents for 2017 over the year before. This number is concerning when the fact that accidents involving passenger cars decreased over the same time. You can also go here for statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
When a fatal accident involves both an 18-wheeler and a passenger vehicle, a person traveling in the passenger vehicle loses their life in nearly three out of four cases. The NHTSA also notes that more than half of trucking accident fatalities happen on rural roads. Twenty-five percent of these accidents take place on major interstates. If you or someone you know unfortunately experiences such accident, you can hire this Truck Accident Attorney Kansas City .
Causes of Truck Accidents
The time of day is an important consideration with trucking accidents, but it is not the only consideration. Driver error is the leading cause of fatal trucking accidents. Factors like driver distractions, fatigue, and inexperience are often the root cause of these driver errors. The failure to load cargo properly and driving while impaired represents two other common causes of trucking accidents.
How to Avoid Truck Accidents
Motorists who share the road with truck drivers have several precautionary measures at their disposal to prevent accidents:
- Avoid distractions from food, cell phones, or gadgets
- Maintain a safe distance from the rear end of a truck
- Avoid changing lanes in front of a truck
- Be cautious of debris falling from a truck
How Drivers can Help Avoid Accidents
The first thing a truck driver can do to ensure safe travels is to make sure they receive sufficient rest before driving. This action will protect both the truck driver and other motorists from the dangers of fatigued driving. Truck drivers should also minimize distractions while on the road. Suggestions include waiting until at a rest stop to eat and using hands-free devices when it is a must for them to talk to someone. Drivers will also benefit from planning travel routes that avoid dangerous spots on roads and highways.