The American Trucking Association (ATA) doesn’t believe that truck driver fatigue is a major contributor to the number of truck accidents that occur on Tennessee highways and other U.S. roadways. Citing data from the Large Truck Crash Causation Study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and more recent reports, missteps by the driver rather than his or her own alertness, contribute to 9 out of 10 accidents.
As the FMCSA has increasingly focused on driver fatigue through new restrictions on hours of service, it has neglected more frequent causes of truck accidents, such as excessive speed, weather or road conditions, and distracted driving, according to the ATA. But, regardless of why these accidents are happening, the point is that they are happening and can have devastating consequences. The FMSCA reports that in Tennessee and throughout the United States 3,215 large trucks were involved in fatal truck accidents in 2009.
Whatever the Cause, Tennessee Truck Accidents Continue to Occur
Interstate 40 has seen its share of truck crashes, although not many like the one that happened just this week at an Arlington gas station. A semi-truck crashed through a Shell Station, finally stopping after the cab broke through the back wall, burying the trailer inside the convenience store. Investigators are not sure what caused the crash, but early reports show that the truck driver never stepped on the brakes as the semi exited the interstate, jumped a median and bypassed the Shell Station parking lot.
The truck driver and his passenger were taken to the hospital for treatment but no one else was injured in the truck crash. Speculation leads to several potential causes of the crash: driver distraction, driver fatigue, driver ability or lack of training and mechanical problems with the truck itself.
Injuries that occur during a Tennessee truck crash are often very serious, due in part to the size of the truck and often the size of the other vehicle(s) involved, typically a passenger car. Understanding what’s going wrong behind the wheel may be the first step toward preventing fatal truck crashes in Memphis and throughout the U.S.