With online retail and consumerism at all-time highs, more commercial trucks are on the road than ever before. The increase in trucks sharing residential roads with others also increases the number of truck accidents. Here are a few surprising statistics you may not know about truck accidents in Tennessee.
Most Tennessee Truck Accidents Occur on Interstates
Most commercial truck accidents in Tennessee occur on interstates. The majority of these accidents take place on urban roadways. The U.S. state routes and intersections are also common locations for commercial truck accidents.
Improper Lane Departure Is One of the Most Common Causes
One of Tennessee’s most common causes of commercial truck accidents is improper lane departure, which makes up approximately 9.5% of all truck crashes. Following closely behind at 6.9% of truck accident causes is improperly following. Larger commercial trucks typically take longer to come to a stop, so following too closely can lead to a rear-end crash.
Fatigued Driving Is the Most Common Driver Condition
When it comes to driver condition rather than driver error, the most common cause of commercial truck accidents is fatigue. Fatigued driving can affect both commercial truck and passenger vehicle drivers. The Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security estimates that approximately 0.48% of commercial truck drivers involved in an accident were apparently fatigued.
However, it’s important to note that this number may be even higher, as it’s not always easy to gauge certain driver conditions, like fatigue. The driver will likely appear much more alert and awake following an accident, making it difficult to determine if it was a factor. Due to employer demands, truck drivers may be at an increased risk of driving while overly tired.
Truck Accidents in Tennessee Are on the Rise
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports an increase in truck accident fatalities in Tennessee over the last few years. Large truck accidents led to 92 fatalities in 2010, 108 in 2011, 112 in 2012, 127 in 2013, and the numbers continued increasing year over year.
Driver Negligence Is Likely a Contributing Factor
Experts estimate that many truck accidents in Tennessee and most of the United States are due to driver negligence. Driver negligence occurs when a driver fails to exercise reasonable care. When it comes to commercial truck accidents, negligence may include any of the following:
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
- Operating a commercial truck without a valid license
- Making improper lane changes or turns
- Failing to follow city or county street laws
- Driving recklessly
- Overloading trucks or failing to complete required maintenance
- Driving while distracted, such as texting and driving
Driver negligence can make a commercial truck driver liable for a personal injury lawsuit. This means if you’re injured in a truck accident due to a driver’s negligence, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them and their insurance company.
In fact, a lawsuit may be necessary to collect the money you need to recover. A truck accident attorney in Henderson can help Tennessee drivers collect the compensation they need to cover their medical bills, property damages, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Tennessee Has Laws in Place To Help Protect Drivers
In an attempt to reduce the rate of commercial truck accidents in Tennessee, the state has put certain laws in place to help protect its drivers. One such law is that commercial vehicles can’t exceed 80,000 pounds. Overloading a commercial truck beyond this weight limit can lead to a Class C misdemeanor charge in Tennessee. The state also requires all commercial trucks over 10,000 pounds to complete an annual inspection. Additionally, trucks over this limit are subject to random inspections.
All commercial truck drivers in Tennessee must have a valid state driver’s license, health care that shows they meet the state minimum health requirements, a vehicle inspection report, weekly log, current daily log, and shipping materials if the truck carries any hazardous materials. Some drivers may be exempt from these laws, but failing to meet the requirements can lead to expensive fines, misdemeanor charges, and potential loss of commercial license.
Additionally, if the commercial truck driver is responsible for any accident and doesn’t meet these requirements, it could be evidence of negligence.
Additionally, Tennessee protects its injured resident’s rights to seek compensation from a personal injury lawsuit. Even with strict laws, commercial truck accidents can and do happen.
Truck accidents are all too common in Tennessee. Some truck accidents occur from improper lane departure, whereas others are due to the driver being overly fatigued. Most truck accidents occur on interstates. While state and federal boards have regulations to reduce truck accident occurrences, they can still happen. Injured drivers may have legal rights and can learn more about them by talking with a personal injury lawyer.