As I wrote back in 2013, driver error is a leading cause of truck accidents. As the summer driving season is just about here, it is important to consider driver error in more detail, making sure that we understand it and how we can keep ourselves safe on the roads.
Driver Error Comes in Many Shapes and Sizes
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that driver error is ten times more likely to be the cause of the crash than any of other factors contributing to a truck accident. This makes driver error the primary concern of safety advocates.
Given its wide-ranging nature, driver error can take a new of different forms, most of which are not exclusive of the others. Some of the causes of truck driver error can manifest themselves are:
- Driver fatigue
- Districted driving
- Texting while driving
- Talking on the phone
- Substance abuse (both drug and alcohol)
Any one of these safety factors can lead to increased risk of a crash, based on the truck driver’s reduced capacity to respond to conditions and the situation on the road.
Driver Error: Reduced Driver Performance
If a driver is tired, paying attention to a telephone conversation, occupied with sending text messages on a smartphone, or operating the tractor-trailer while under the influence of drugs (either illegal substances or prescription medicine) or alcohol, then that driver is open to increased likelihood of committing the following dangerous acts:
- Following too closely
- Driving too fast for conditions (especially in poor weather conditions)
- Improper lane usage (drifting in and out of the lane)
Monitoring Truck Driver Safety
Following the release of new phone apps by the FMCSA, drivers can check on the safety record of any truck driver. The app, which is available for both iOs and Android phone, requires no log-in and immediately reveals whether the federal operating status of the carrier is authorized.
The QCMobile app is available for free on both Android and iOS devices. Visit the Apple App Store or Google Play to download QCMobile.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck crash and you are not sure if there was driver error contact the Whiting Law Group for a complimentary case evaluation.