Big Rig Accidents in Tennessee
Big rigs are also called semi-trucks or 18-wheelers. While necessary for hauling goods, they can also cause accidents with injuries or fatalities. Many trucks need to travel through Tennessee to get across the country. This could result in big rig crashes. The total number of traffic fatalities in Tennessee in 2014 was 963 with a fatality rate of 1.33. This rate is based on 100 million miles traveled.
Large Truck Crashes
Large trucks are defined as any truck with a total gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds. The statistics do not include buses or motor homes. The following is an overview of fatal truck crashes over the last 6 years.
|No. of Fatal Truck Crashes
The most current data available is from 2015. The number of collisions increased in 2015 over 2014. In fact, fatal big rig crashes have generally trended upward over the last 6 years. The lowest amount was 82, which occurred in 2010. Since then, deaths have remained somewhat constant.
Factors that Contribute to Crashes
Some factors that contribute to deadly collisions include:
- Driving too fast for road conditions, speeding
- Improper lane changes
- Failure to yield to another vehicle
- Improper turns
- Driving too close
- Failure to obey traffic signal or sign
Additionally, there are some other factors that might contribute to accidents. Inattention, also called distracted driving, can happen when a driver is not paying proper attention to the road. It can occur when using a cell phone, texting or operating a GPS device or when a driver is eating or drinking while behind the wheel.
Driving while drowsy is a problem that can occur to truck drivers who travel long distances. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study, LTCCS, found that 13% of commercial truck drivers were driving while tired at the time of a crash. Further, as many as 75% of semi-truck operators reported having made a mistake while driving when they were fatigued. Drivers are required to drive only a specific number of hours at a time; however, the rule may be disregarded by some.
Road conditions could also cause accidents. Rain, sleet, hail, snow, and ice are all common causes of slippery road surfaces which could lead to incidents. Animals on the road are dangerous. Traveling on dark or unlit roads at night can make it difficult to see, which may cause a collision. Uneven streets or potholes are also contributing factors.