With more and more individuals choosing to purchase goods and services via the Internet, the use of large commercial vehicles for the purpose of making deliveries has increased considerably. However, along with the increase in deliveries comes an increased opportunity for truck accidents throughout Colorado and elsewhere across the United States.
Large delivery companies, like FedEx and UPS, have had to increase their fleet due to the demand and in recent years, more of these trucks have been sharing the road with smaller automobiles. Unfortunately, when trucks collide with smaller automobiles, the results can be devastating. But why do delivery truck collisions occur in the first place?
A Brief Look at Previous UPS Crash Stats
Some of the latest statistics show that over a two-year period prior to 2012, there were over 1,400 UPS truck accidents, 39 of which resulted in one or more deaths. Additionally, over 500 of those reported accidents involved injuries of some sort.
While the service works hard to lower the number of accidents that occur and improve driver safety, their trucks still cause many accidents on a yearly basis.
Common Causes for Delivery (and Other) Truck Accidents
Truckers, whether they drive a delivery truck or some other type of large commercial vehicle, are governed by both state and federal regulations. The rules are strict and can be problematic for truck owners who are trying to maximize their bottom line and get the product to where it needs to be as quickly as possible.
Still, there are any number of reasons why truck collisions occur, including the following:
- Driver distraction/inattention
- Driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Driver fatigue
- Inclement weather
- Improperly loaded trucks
- Poor truck maintenance/failure to perform routine maintenance
- Poor driver training/no driver training
Any trucker dealing with the above-mentioned issues puts not only him or herself at risk, but also other drivers.
To be clear, UPS trucks, like most all other commercial vehicles, are governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Administration has set forth a number of standards to help ensure truck driving safety. Some of the regulations that govern truckers and the trucks they operate include rules related to repair and maintenance requirements, various training requirements, programs for alcohol/drug use prevention and hours-of-service records.
How Can Motor Vehicle Drivers Stay Safe?
There are several ways in which automobile drivers can stay safe when sharing the road with big trucks. Please keep the following things in mind as you travel area roadways:
- Truckers need a lot of room — give it to them. Large commercial vehicles are subject to tire blowouts as well as tip-overs, primarily due to their large size. Also, just like automobiles, trucks have blind spots too — even more so than passenger vehicles. That said, if you intend to pass a large truck, do so on the left side (when possible), stay closer to the outside of the lane and pass quickly. Once you’ve passed, do not immediately cut in front of a truck, as it can take a fully loaded commercial truck almost three football fields in length to stop if it is traveling at 60 miles per hour.
- Remember: Trucks make wide turns. Motor vehicle drivers should be aware that when a tractor trailer makes a turn (especially a right-hand turn), it is extremely difficult for the driver to see vehicles that may be attempting to squeeze in. Particularly for right turns, a truck driver will typically swing out to the left lane and then return in order to make the right-hand turn. This may seem like the perfect opportunity for you to squeeze in, but don’t. The driver can usually only see the trailer in the mirror while turning — not vehicles.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a crash with a UPS truck or any other commercial vehicle, contact a Denver truck accident lawyer with Levine Law as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and options under the law.