Millions of vehicles control American roads on a daily basis, but commercial trucks are especially important. In fact, a shutdown of that specific industry could destroy the nation. The reason for that is simple. It’s estimated that it takes 48,000 drivers to move or deliver 70% of the goods in this country alone. Most people would think that truck drivers are set. After all, with such demand, the wages must be phenomenal and the safety conditions stellar, right? But neither of those beliefs are true. In fact, ongoing driver shortages cause more problems, including serious truck accidents. So then, why are commercial truck drivers such a danger on Michigan Highways and how can a Michigan commercial truck accident be avoided?
Why Are Commercial Trucks So Dangerous?
Think about this for a moment. The average household vehicle or family car weighs 5,000 pounds. In comparison, the legal and normal weight for an 18-wheeler commercial truck is 80,000 pounds. And that’s prior to any permitted overweight allowances that many commercial trucks obtain. So the idea of one of those monstrosities tipping, sliding, or careening, is sickening and heartbreaking; yet the reality is worse than our fears.
Truck driving is one of the top ten most dangerous jobs, but the industry is top in employee fatalities as it’s responsible for 12% of all work-related deaths regardless of the industry. That breaks down to 98% of semi truck accidents resulting in at least one fatality. That’s compared to 22%, or 130,000 individuals, ending up with serious injuries. Let that sink in.
Truck driving isn’t an easy career. Drivers are often away from home and family for days or weeks at a time. Due to continual driver shortages, established drivers are often given more demands and unreasonable, or unsafe, delivery deadlines which often leads to contacting a truck accident attorney in Michigan. Missing the deadlines means a dock in pay or termination. To avoid that reality, many drivers:
- Are sleep deprived
- Drive at dangerous speeds
- Avoid performing required vehicle safety checks
- Haul dangerous load weights
- Resort to chemical substances to complete their job in time
Should Michigan Drivers Be Worried?
An accident can happen at any time for any reason. That fact shouldn’t keep you from leaving the house, but it should keep you alert. Michigan is known for its road-related dangers anyway, ranging from wildlife incidents to some of the worst weather conditions (hello, winter) in the nation. Those types of accidents commonly cause property damage and injuries while collisions with commercial trucks can be catastrophic.
Thirteen percent of commercial truck accidents are due to overweight loads, and two-thirds of all statewide truck accidents occur in Eastern Michigan. Van Buren County tops the list for truck-related accidents, but they can happen anywhere. Over 100 transport companies are located in Michigan, ranging from small businesses to national leaders.
While many do care about the health and welfare of their workers, there are plenty that put profit above precaution. That can be said about any industry, but most businesses don’t endanger innocent lives in the process. Vigilance is essential when driving behind or near a commercial truck, but accidents can still happen regardless of how careful you are. If a commercial truck accident threatens your welfare, call a competent truck accident attorney in Mt. Clemens Michigan to see what can be done to get you on the road again.