Tractor-trailer accidents can happen at any time of day, any day of the week, and on any type of roadway. However, recent statistics show that most fatal accidents involving 18-wheelers occur on Thursdays. Every year, over 5,000 people are fatally injured in accidents with big rigs, according to the United States Department of Labor, and an additional 140,000 people are injured. And although there are minor yearly fluctuations, the general trend is that there are more and more fatal accidents over time.
What factors are to blame for the steadily increasing number of trucking fatalities? There can be no question that the increase in our dependence on handheld smartphone technology has increased the number of distracted driving-related crashes.
Another factor is that truck drivers are being pushed to the limit by their employers. In today’s tough economic climate, companies are requiring their drivers to cover more ground over a shorter period of time. Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) strictly regulates the length of time drivers can continuously stay on the road without a rest break, commercial trucking companies routinely ignore these rules.
Cost cutting can result in other problems as well. When trucking companies and drivers fail to maintain their vehicles (routine brake maintenance, tire changes, etc.) it can lead to serious problems. These safety issues are often exacerbated by unevenly distributed cargo or an overloaded truck.
Years of data show that Thursdays are the most fatal day of the week for truck crashes. Fridays are the second deadliest day of the week. This is likely because truck drivers with a standard Monday through Friday schedule are exhausted by the end of the week. The lack of rest can lead to driver oversight and error, and driving without adequate rest can have the same impact on a person’s reflexes as being impaired by an intoxicated substance. Tired drivers are often more likely to overlook crucial equipment checks.
It has been the case every year since 2011 that Thursdays are the most dangerous day to be on the road with trucks. Sundays are the least common day for fatal truck accidents to occur, most likely because drivers are either refreshed on Sundays, or because there are fewer trucks on the road.
Moreover, there are certain times of day that are more dangerous to share the road with big rigs. The hours between 6:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. tend to be the most dangerous because drivers who are on the road during the early part of the day have been driving all night. The safest time of day to share the road with a big rig is between 6:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. because there are fewer overall drivers on the road.
New Jersey Truck Accident Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP Advocate for Victims of Truck AccidentsSerious truck accidents can happen at any time and leave victims with mounting medical bills, lost wages, or permanent disability. With offices located in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, New Jersey, the legal team at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP advocates for victims of truck accidents. To learn more about how we can help, call us today at 732-777-0100 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey truck accident lawyer.