Study Shows Prescription Drugs are the Leading Cause of Trucking Accidents

In 2007, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reviewed the causes of crashes involving commercial motor vehicles, like eighteen-wheelers. It was the first study of its kind to look at all pre-crash factors nation-wide.

The top ten reasons for crashes might not surprise you, but the order might. Many people assume that fatigue would be the number one reason for crashes, but the top reason for trucking accidents is actually prescription drug use.

Here’s the breakdown:

• Prescription drug use topped the list, causing 26% of big rig crashes.
• Traveling too fast for road conditions was the number two reason, causing 23% of crashes.
• Being unfamiliar with the roadway came in at number three, with 22%.
• Over-the-counter drug use was the fourth most common cause of trucking crashes with 18%.
• Surprisingly fatigue doesn’t even make the top five, as inadequate surveillance takes the fifth spot with 14%.
• At number six, fatigue causes 14% of crashes involving commercial vehicles.
• Illegal maneuvers cause 9% of commercial vehicle crashes.
• Not paying attention caused 8% of crashes by trucks.
• Being distracted by something outside of the vehicle caused 8% of the crashes
• Trucks require a lot of maneuvering; underestimating the action needed to avoid a crash took the tenth spot, causing 7% of accidents.

A large commercial vehicle can weigh 80,000 pounds or more, in comparison, a typical passenger vehicle weighs about 3,000 pounds. Because of the size and weight, trucking accidents are likely to cause serious, if not fatal, injuries.

Searching for an attorney for a truck accident in Marietta? If you, or a relative, have been in an accident involving a truck or commercial vehicle, contact Marietta trucking accident attorney Andrew Jones.