Plane crashes don’t happen very often. But whenever they do, they make national headlines. Imagine if a mid-range commuter jet crashed every week—each time killing all of its passengers. It would be terrifying. People would be too afraid to fly.
While this scenario may sound far-fetched, the number of fatalities suffered each year due to trucking accidents in the United States—more than 4,000—is equal to the number in the above hypothetical situation. In addition, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that another 100,000 people suffer injuries each year from trucking accidents. And these numbers are increasing each year.
What accounts for this increase?
As a society, we’ve become accustomed to virtually instant gratification. We can stream an entire TV series whenever we want. We can hail a cab immediately using just an app. We do most of our shopping online, and we expect our orders to arrive on our doorstep within just a day or two.
In response to this now societal norm, businesses face higher customer expectations to ship their goods around the country. Consequently, truckers are under increased pressure to deliver more shipments faster. And this situation can create more risky conditions on the road.
It’s important to understand the severity of a trucking accident compared to a car accident. The added size and weight of tractor-trailers combined with the tendency of such vehicles to be traveling on high-speed roadways can lead to devastating consequences in the event of a collision. Large trucks have a slower reaction time than cars, so avoid swerving or weaving dangerously around them. It’s important to give such trucks adequate space on the road.