Increasing number of people killed in OH large truck accidents

With greater amounts of freight needing to be distributed across the country, trucking companies are struggling with a shortage of qualified truckers.

Columbus motorists and drivers across the state are used to navigating the roadways alongside tractor trailers. Drivers may be familiar with seeing these massive vehicles on the road, and some may forget that commercial tractor trailers can be extremely dangerous. In fact, the number of people who have lost their lives in large truck accident deaths has risen for the fifth straight year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. From 3,211 deaths in 2009 to 3,906 fatalities in 2013, more and more people are being killed in motor vehicle accidents involving big rigs. In Ohio alone, the death rate has climbed from 113 deaths in 2011 to 151 fatalities in 2013. What is causing this increase in large truck accidents, injuries and deaths?

Increased need for truckers

As the U.S. economy continues to grow, the amount of freight that needs to be distributed across the nation has also grown. The American Trucking Association predicts that freight tonnage will increase by 23.5 percent by the year 2025. This means that trucking companies will need to hire an estimated 100,000 new truckers each year in order to keep up with this increasing demand.

Bloomberg Business reported that finding new truck drivers may be a challenge in upcoming years. Many people have become discouraged from entering into the trucking industry for several reasons. Many drivers are forced to spend greater amounts of time away from their families and may not be compensated well. This puts trucking companies in a precarious situation, as freight demands increase and there are not enough truckers to meet the deadlines.

Drowsy truck drivers

Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration tightened the reins on how long truckers could spend behind the wheel for any given period of time, some commercial truck operators continue to drive drowsy. Not only are they under pressure to meet tight deadlines and deliver more freight, but drivers get bigger paychecks if they stay behind the wheel for longer amounts of time. In some cases, trucking companies schedule truckers in violation of federal regulations in order to distribute more freight. These long hours on the road puts the lives of motorists in extreme danger. Truckers must be fully alert, trained and ready to handle any type of hazard that may come their way. When they are tired or distracted, however, their ability to respond to dangerous road, weather and traffic conditions diminishes significantly.

Obtaining legal counsel

People who have been injured or have lost a loved one in a large truck accident may want to explore their legal options with an established attorney in Ohio. You may be eligible for compensation that could help you put your life back together after surviving the aftermath of a catastrophic tractor trailer collision.