Tractor-trailers are critical to getting products to the market in the United States. While any time you see a big rig crash, it seems catastrophic, the industry as a whole has gotten a lot safer in the past years than it was a little more than a decade ago.
Truck-related crashes have declined significantly during the past decade according to the Federal Highway Administration. In 2007, there were 2.7 crashes for every 100 million miles truckers traveled that year. By 2016, that number had declined by a little more than half to 1.34.
Driver assist technology has helped make sharing the road with truckers in Houston and throughout the United States a lot safer in recent years.
The implementation of federal rules requiring truckers to use an Electronic Logging Device to keep track of how long they drive, and their beaks is one change that has helped reduce the number of truck accidents during this time frame.
Before this rule was implemented, truckers were essentially allowed to keep a manual log based on tracking the hours that they drove. This approach, which was based on an honor system, was easily manipulated.
Despite there being growth in the industry, there's been a reduction in the number of miles Texas truckers travel on an annual basis. In 2007, they traveled a reported 304 million miles. By 2016, that number had declined to 288 million. This has likely resulted in fewer crashes.
One concern that may lead to increased truck crashes by the time statistics are analyzed once again, though, is that many seasoned truckers are starting to retire. Analysts project that as many as 898,000 new truck drivers will be needed to keep up with industry demands over the next 10 years. At least one-half of those truckers will have to fill spots left vacant by retiring ones.
Finding this many qualified truck drivers in such a short span of time is a huge concern for trucking companies. It's likely that there will an uptick in crashes as less experienced truckers are put out on the road. An attorney can provide guidance when you're seeking compensation for driver negligence in the most catastrophic injury cases.