Many factors may contribute to a motor vehicle accident involving a semi-truck or other large commercial vehicle. The truck may experience a mechanical failure relating to its brakes or other essential systems if the owner or company fails to maintain it properly.

Other large truck accidents may occur due to the actions of the driver, such as the choice to operate the rig while under the influence of alcohol. Driving while fatigued may also open the door to an accident.

Alabama’s truck fatalities

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show the ongoing risk faced by residents in Alabama when sharing the road with tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles. In 2018, 13% of the state’s total vehicular fatalities resulted from accidents involving these big rigs, up from 10% the previous year. In 2018, a total of 122 lives were lost in these crashes compared with 99 in 2017.

Between 2014 and 2018, 556 people in Alabama were killed in large truck collisions. Those deaths represented 12% of all accident deaths in that five-year period.

Rules governing commercial trucking

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration oversees commercial transportation in the United States. One of the many rules the FMCSA put in place governs the working and rest hours of truckers. This rule, called the Hours of Service rule, aims to limit trucker fatigue so as to prevent accidents and keep everyone safe.

A driver operating a truck carrying property may work 14 hours in a single day. Of those hours, only 10 may be spent driving. A break lasting at least 30 minutes must be taken after eight hours on the job.