There are around 500,000 accidents involving trucks every year in the US, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), with around 4500 of them leading to fatalities and a further 344,000 resulting in injuries. This may come as a surprise, but around 57% of truck accidents take place on rural roads, even though there’s much less traffic to think about. So, why do more truck accidents happen in rural areas?
Long Haul Journeys
The FMCSA set strict regulations for how long truckers should work in the US, including how often and how long they should rest to avoid drowsiness. However, many truckers and logistic companies flout these rules in an attempt to get more journeys completed.
Many long-haul truck journeys travel down rural roads because they’re quieter, which means less congestion and more efficient logistic services. However, long-haul journeys mean trucks spend longer hours on the road without stopping, which can lead to overheating, tire failure, and other issues. If these problems aren’t dealt with before entering urban roads, the consequences can be deadly.
To combat long-haul trucking issues, logistics companies should install real-time fleet tracking software and put in place a strict maintenance schedule, which includes stopping following long stretches on rural roads.
Speeding is one of the most common causes of truck accidents, and that goes for both urban and rural driving. This isn’t only the truck driver speeding, as other road users shooting into and out of a truck’s blind spots can result in unnecessary accidents. In rural areas, drivers take more risks because there’s much less traffic to take into account, but this only increases the risk of accidents.
Managing speeding on the road is a little trickier, as the trucker is in control and there’s not much logistics companies can do, although new technologies can flash up alerts and send data when they’re traveling too fast. When it comes to being aware of other speeders, high-end camera technology can effectively cover the blind spot via a screen in the truck’s cab.
Narrow and Dark Roads
Many rural roads are narrow and have very few markings, which can be problematic when the darkness rolls in. With limited visibility and truck drivers still making reckless decisions to meet deadlines, the risk of having a catastrophic accident only increases.
Fewer Patrols and Road Signals
Traffic signals are in place to keep road users in check and follow the laws of the road, but there’s much less need for signage on rural roads, which, again, leads to more accidents. For example, instead of built-up pedestrian crossings, rural crossings don’t have much signage, which can lead to pedestrian collisions because of driver or pedestrian behaviors.
Truck accidents are devastating for all parties involved, and they can result in lifelong injuries or even fatalities. If you or someone you love is involved in an accident with a truck, make sure you contact Caddell Reynolds Law firm today by visiting the following offices:
- Fort Smith – 122 North 11th St., Fort Smith, AW 72901
- Fayetteville – 509 E Millsap Rd., Suite 102, Fayetteville, AR 72703
- Rogers – 211 North Second St. Rogers, AR 72756
- Jonesboro – 3000 Browns Lane, Jonesboro, AR 72401
- Little Rock – 10809 Executive Center Drive, Suite 111, Little Rock, AR 72211
Or by calling us for a free consultation on (800) 671-4100.