If you see a dump truck or one of those ready-mix concrete trucks on the road with you, you may want to consider taking another route or maybe stop for coffee -- whatever you need to do to let the truck get well ahead of you.
Even as data suggests that industry and technological changes are reducing the number of fatal big rig accidents across the nation, the number of accidents involving dump trucks and ready-mix concrete trucks has skyrocketed. According to data released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), severe dump truck accidents rose a whopping nine percent in 2016. There were 5,483 accidents involving dump trucks that resulted in injuries that year.
The statistics involving ready-mix concrete trucks were equally grim. There were 838 serious accidents involving these trucks in 2016, another increase above nine percent. Fatalities also increased, from 33 in 2015 to 38 in 2016.
Why aren't dump trucks and concrete trucks seeing the same sort of improvements the rest of the trucking industry has experienced? Experts speculate that there are a number of reasons.
Some of those reasons are common, like speeding and distracted driving. Others are more specific to the industry, like poorly-maintained vehicles and by-the-load incentives that encourage drivers to take risks.
In addition, however, there's another worrying factor: inexperienced drivers. While a commercial driver's license (CDL) is required to operate either vehicle, drivers don't always have the same breadth of experience that semitruck operators have. A lot of small companies use dump trucks, for example. However, the responsibility for driving that truck could be shared by several drivers of varying skill levels.
If you're injured in an accident involving a dump truck or a ready-mix concrete truck, you should find out what sort of compensation is available for your injuries. You may be facing a long recovery period -- which could mean lots of medical bills and lost income.