For many drivers in Missouri, an accident involving a large truck is one of their greatest fears. Tractor-trailers carry substantial weight in a huge volume. This means that other vehicles involved in a collision are much more likely to suffer serious damage, including catastrophic injuries and fatalities. Even more troublesome is the fact that large truck collisions are on the rise. Since 2009, the number of fatal truck accidents has increased by over 52% despite the fact that many new safety technologies have been introduced. Between 2016 and 2018, truck crash fatalities rose by 5.7%, and the trend is continuing.
Many Missouri motorists use hands-free devices to talk on their phones while they drive. While doing so may be safer than taking a hand off the wheel, new data shows that these devices might have some drawbacks. When people are not using their hands to talk on the phone, they could be engaging in other distracting behavior like eating while driving.
Missouri residents may be alarmed to learn that a worryingly large number of the semi-tractor trailers on the nation's roads likely have braking systems that are either not properly adjusted or defective. When the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studied a sample of the 120,000 serious truck accidents that occurred between April 2001 and December 2003, their researchers discovered that 29% of the commercial vehicles involved had some sort of braking system problem.
A recently published study on the professions that see the most sleep deprivation has ranked transportation and material moving among the worst four. This may not be a surprise to long-haul truck drivers in Missouri, most of whom know how widespread and how dangerous it is to drive drowsy.
Trucking accidents can pose a particular threat to others on the road in Missouri. Because of the massive size and volume of big rigs, collisions involving these vehicles can be especially dangerous. While an average car weighs 4,000 pounds, a large truck weighs over 20 times that amount. While there are a number of factors that can contribute to these serious crashes, several common causes dominate.
Truck accidents continue to pose a threat to others on the road in Missouri and across the country. Drunk, distracted or drowsy driving are hazardous in any type of vehicle, but the danger escalates dramatically when a negligent driver sits behind the wheel of a massive semi truck. The weight and mass of these trucks mean that other people involved in a crash have a much higher chance of serious injuries or even fatalities. The number of fatal truck accidents has continued to climb, a disturbing trend that has sparked attention.
Underride crashes are some of the most serious accidents that can occur between motor vehicles and large trucks, killing more than 300 people every year. It occurs when motor vehicles collide with trucks and slide under them. Occupants may suffer head and neck injuries or, in some cases, be decapitated. Truckers in Missouri know that federal law currently requires underride guards for the rear of commercial trucks.