Posted on Thursday, November 16th, 2017 at 11:20 pm
Truck accidents cause more serious injuries and fatalities on U.S. highways than any other type of vehicle. That includes highways in Texas too. Most people tend to think of the typical truck accident as a crash involving an eighteen wheeler, but there are smaller truck, too whose drivers and company profits are under the same sort of pressure as the larger trucks. One particular company that seems to stand out in terms of frequency of accident reports is UPS. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association’s (FMCSA’s) company snapshot, UPS trucks were involved in 60 fatal accidents alone in the last two years and nearly 700 more where serious injuries were involved.
UPS is admittedly a big company. It has a national delivery fleet of around 100,000 vehicles and beyond the U.S. it has a huge international presence, serving 220 individual countries and revenue in the billions of dollars annually. Considering the size of the organization and the number of parcels that need to get from one place to another in the U.S. it’s not surprising that there are a large number of accidents involving these trucks.
Why do UPS trucks cause serious accidents?
Some of the reasons why UPS trucks are involved in so many serious accidents are the same as for any trucks. The typical truck accident is caused by driver error rather than a fault in the company or defective parts, but the fact is that in any encounter between a large truck and a smaller vehicle such as the typical auto or even a SUV, the smaller vehicle is almost always going to come off worse. In fact, trucks are not necessarily more crash happy than any other type of vehicle, it’s just that they are so much heavier and larger in size than anything else on the highway.
Large, heavy trucks are not the cause of an accident. You can’t blame an accident on the truck or even the model of the truck. Truck recalls because of known defects are very rare. It is almost always something the driver has done that is the immediate cause of a crash. If UPS trucks are involved in highway accidents, then an analysis of what US drivers are doing wrong is necessary.
Truck drivers, including UPS truck drivers, primarily cause accidents because they:
- are too tired to concentrate on driving safely;
- are driving too fast for the conditions: note this is not the same as driving over the speed limit;
- are under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication that affects their ability to drive safely;
- make poor decisions about passing or lane changing;
- do not see a vehicle because of the truck’s blind spot;
- fail to yield the right of way at an intersection;
- are distracted by something, a cell phone call, texting while driving, eating or drinking, checking the GPS;
- are inexperienced or unqualified to drive a large truck safely;
- are suffering from psychological or emotional stress.
UPS drivers are under a lot of pressure to get their load of parcels delivered as fast as possible. Particularly in large states like Texas, that means driving for very large distances for long periods of time. The temptations to stay behind the wheel for longer than is safe as well as to drive faster than is safe are very real.
UPS drivers are not always to blame for accidents. Occasionally, defective parts let the truck down. Components like brakes, tires and steering are some of the commonest reasons for accidents that are not related to the way the driver is driving.
What can be done to avoid a UPS truck accident?
If you are behind a UPS truck, keep a safe distance behind it and only pass when you are sure it is safe to do so. Watch the way the truck is being driven. If the truck driver is tired, on drugs, or using his or her cell phone their driving may be erratic. You may have to swerve to avoid the truck when passing it id it veers out towards you.
If you are involved in a UPS truck accident, and are sure it was the truck driver’s fault, or at least not your fault, you may be eligible for compensation. Talk to a truck accident attorney such as one at Injury Lawyer San Antonio to discuss your legal options. A successful personal injury claim will help pay for any damage to your vehicle, pay medical expenses if injured and compensate for any lost earnings. Ring 210-646-9100 for an appointment.