Big Rig Accidents in Montana
Montana is one of the states that doesn’t require periodic vehicle inspections, which means that even unsafe trucks could be on the road. This is a troubling fact, especially as far as accidents go.
Big rigs are massive trucks designed to carry cargo. Montana statistics suggest that big rig accidents do occur and that their number has gone up over the past few years.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration maintains detailed annual reports about accidents and fatalities involving big trucks.
FMCSA also has newer statistics and these present a more troubling picture. In 2016, there were 537 crashes involving 570 large trucks. There were 21 fatalities and 221 injuries. Data for 2017 so far suggests that 154 crashes involving big rigs have taken place.
According to Montana.gov, of all fatal truck crashes that occurred from 2004 to 2008, 56 percent involved a single trailer truck, 38 percent – no trailer and the rest involved a double trailer truck.
It’s difficult to find statistics and information about trucks carrying hazardous materials in Montana that are involved in an accident. National averages, however, may paint a more or less representative and adequate picture.
FMCSA reports that 800,000 shipments of hazardous materials are transported across the US every single day. Of the truck carrying hazardous cargo, 200 get involved in fatal crashes. There are about 5,000 nonfatal crashes as well.
In the period from 1991 to 2000, there have been 636 hazardous cargo spillages in fatal truck crashes.
Big rig crashes can be the result of a driver error, a vehicle problem, or environmental factors. Most often, the behavior of drivers and the decisions that they make while driving can contribute to crashes.
According to official Montana statistics, speeding and failures to follow traffic regulations rank among the most common causes of crashes. Very often, drivers are pressed by impossible schedules that can lead to reckless behavior on the road.
Some other factors that can commonly contribute to collisions involving big rigs include driving in the wrong lane, loss of control due to a cargo shift or a vehicle system failure, a collision with another vehicle, limited visibility due to the weather, fatigue and the use of either drugs or alcohol.