Texas Is the National Leader in Trucking Accidents
In 2017, more than 153,000 commercial truck crashes occurred on America's highways. The crashes caused 75,123 injuries (nearly a 50 percent injury rate) and killed 4,500 people. No other state in the U.S. saw more of these crashes than Texas. Despite the fact that commercial trucks make up less than 5 percent of the vehicles on the road, large trucks are involved in 11 percent of the fatalities.
It's not hard to see why—large trucks are between 10,000 and 80,000 pounds, while the average sedan is a fraction of that weight. As a result, large trucks take longer to stop, aren't agile enough to change directions quickly, and cause serious injuries when they collide with passenger vehicles.
Many of these accidents aren't really accidents—companies like JB Hunt know they happen, and in many cases they know why accidents happen. They just don't care. See, the trucking industry has designed its policies to push drivers to work themselves for longer and longer hours without asking for higher pay. How? Through pay-by-mile arrangements. By paying drivers between 24 and 40 cents per mile, companies promise truckers that how much they make is up to the driver.
Never mind that drivers have plenty of non-driving work that's vital to their jobs—tasks like inspecting their rig in the morning, stopping to unload cargo, waiting for the next load, and planning their routes. They should get paid for these tasks, but many don't. Instead, drivers cut down on sleep and rest breaks as much as possible in order to get as many miles in as possible. It's not uncommon for drivers to illegally keep two logbooks of their hours so they can continue driving for long past the legal daily limit.
That creates an industry filled with exhausted truck drivers—and nothing could be more dangerous.
Tired Drivers Make American Highways Unsafe
Of the 153,000 commercial trucking crashes every year, FMCSA data suggests that 1 in 7 crashes are directly caused by fatigue. However, experts believe this is extremely underreported because truckers don't report when they're feeling tired. The data also shows that 1 in 4 crashes happened after a trucker was hauling for 17 hours or longer. Sleep researchers confirm these findings, noting that moderate tiredness is as impairing to our driving as having a drink. If you do the math, that means more than 10,000 people are injured each year because truckers aren't getting enough sleep.
Companies like JB Hunt and its competitors know the lengths at which their drivers are pushing themselves—they encourage it. If a driver isn't making ends meet, it's not because the company is pushing them too hard with low pay; it's because the trucker isn't a "hard-driver," isn't doing everything they can to provide. It's their policies and culture that's creating a dangerous environment on our nation's roads.
The Only Way to Change the Trucking Industry
Our JB Hunt Transport accident lawyers have secured billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Our team has won some of the largest verdicts in the nation for accident victims, setting multiple state and national records. We've helped motorists, independent contractors, and carrier employees collect the compensation they deserved from shipping companies and insurers after a life-changing accident. Their awards paid for their medical care, replaced their income, and allowed them to provide for their families again. In short, our firm has helped rebuild our clients' lives.
After an accident, trucking companies don't invest their resources into paying for a victims' medical care. No, they spend their money mobilizing lawyers, investigators, and insurance adjusters to get the company off the hook—no matter who gets hurt in the process. If anything is going to change, it's going to require truck accident survivors to shine a light on these practices by holding companies accountable. Arnold & Itkin can help by providing our clients with the same resources that the trucking company uses against them—investigators, medical experts, and more. We level the playing field to see justice served.
Review your options with a JB Hunt truck accident lawyer—call (888) 493-1629 or contact us online. Our clients pay nothing upfront for our services. You only pay if we win.