The number of deadly truck accidents in Ohio and around the country has risen sharply in recent years. Between 2009 and 2019, truck accident fatalities in the United States rose by almost 50%, and the number of road users injured in commercial vehicle accidents more than doubled. This alarming rise in deaths and injuries is especially worrying because it came during a period when automotive safety technology and occupant protection systems improved significantly.
Short routes and tight schedules
The figures suggest that route selection is one of the reasons trucks are crashing more often. In order to meet tight delivery schedules, carriers are assigning their truck drivers the shortest routes possible. This means they spend far more time on rural roads and dealing with intersections where accidents are far more common. Three in four big rig accidents take place on rural roads, and almost a third occur in four-way intersections.
Lax maintenance and poor drivers
Commercial vehicle accident statistics reveal that poor maintenance and dangerous driving contribute to many serious truck crashes. When semi-tractor trailers are involved in collisions, vehicle inspectors discover brake problems of some sort almost 30% of the time. The figures also reveal that almost a quarter of the commercial vehicle operators who are involved in deadly accidents each year have crashed at least once in the past.
Crumbling infrastructure and distracted driving
Commercial and passenger vehicles are becoming safer every year thanks to technological advances like semiautonomous safety systems, but these gains are being more than offset by a lack of investment in the nation’s road infrastructure and an alarming rise in distracted driving. Bringing American roads up to the standards of other developed nations could save thousands of lives each year, and so could strictly enforcing distracted driving laws.