Drivers of dump trucks and ready-mix concrete delivery trucks in California should note that the accident rate among these types of trucks continues to rise. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has brought together the latest statistics, which are from 2016, and released them in a report. In that year, there were 8,206 dump truck crashes so severe that the trucks had to be towed away. There were 838 tow-away accidents with concrete trucks.
This adds up to an increase of 9 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively, from numbers in the previous year. The FMCSA reports 5,483 dump truck crashes involving injuries: a 2.7 percent rise. Ready-mix delivery trucks saw a 3.8 percent increase in these types of crashes. As for fatal accidents, dump trucks saw a slight decline from 369 to 367, while the concrete trucks saw a slight jump from 33 to 38.
Bad driving habits, and a lack of effort in combating them, may be to blame for this trend. Experts say that many truck drivers use their cell phone behind the wheel, speed and drive drowsy. Sometimes the drivers are encouraged to be reckless because of by-the-load incentives.
In the early 2000s, improvements in safety technology and more effective driver safety campaigns were able to lower accident rates. Technology that monitors driver behavior can be especially helpful in this regard.
It is up to truck drivers whether they want to be negligent or not. If a drowsy, distracted or speeding trucker causes a truck accident, the trucking company may find itself facing a personal injury claim. Victims, for their part, may want to seek legal counsel. A lawyer might have investigators gather evidence against the trucker, including the police report, in-cab camera footage, phone records and whatever else is relevant. The lawyer may be able to negotiate for a fair settlement afterward.