During the holidays, most people focus on spending time with family and friends. Unfortunately, many people fail to recognize the increased risk of truck accidents accident that accompanies the holiday season. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, seven persons died in truck accidents in Travis County, where Austin is located, during a recent year, and 32 were seriously injured. November and December produce more fatal traffic accidents in Texas than most other months.
Tight Delivery Deadlines
For truckers, the holiday season brings with it tight delivery deadlines. Truckers must deliver their goods to the right location at the right time. In many cases, their employers may push them to take unsafe risks to meet those delivery deadlines. Tight delivery deadlines may lead to:
- Truckers driving too fast. At higher rates of speed, trucks are more likely to cause an accident, either with other vehicles or on their own. Truckers may maintain those high rates of speed even during poor weather conditions, since they know that they have tight deadlines to meet.
- Truckers who choose to continue driving despite fatigue. At times when they would normally pull off the road to get some rest before continuing on, truckers may feel increased pressure to keep driving during the holiday season. In some cases, trucking companies may even encourage truckers to modify their logbooks in an effort to meet legal requirements.
- Truckers on the road during high-accident times. Accident likelihood increases at night, when drivers are more likely to be fatigued and struggle with poor visibility. Accident risk increases at night even when there are fewer cars on the road.
Increased Traffic on the Road
Along with tight delivery deadlines, the holiday season also brings a significant increase in traffic. While many companies use airplanes over the holiday season to make transporting goods easier, most companies still rely on trucks and truck drivers to transport goods across the country. New drivers—often hired on as temporary workers during the holiday season—may have less experience than their peers who were likely hired much earlier. At the same time, the holiday season brings more regular traffic to the road: drivers heading home to see their families for the holidays or hurrying out to pick up their gifts before the holiday season hits, for example. Unfortunately, the more cars on the road, the more drivers who may make errors at any given moment and cause an accident.
The holiday season poses distractions for many individuals; truck drivers are no exception to this rule. Even while they’re driving, truckers may have their minds on other things: upcoming holiday events that they’d like to make it home for or purchasing the perfect gift for friends or family members. Unfortunately, in many cases, those distractions can take a driver’s attention off of the road. Even mental distractions can substantially increase accidents, but along with mental distractions, truckers may attempt to use their phones to handle personal responsibilities while they’re on the clock, increasing distraction and accident risk even more.
Were You Injured Over the Holidays?
Were you injured in an Austin trucking accident during the holiday season? If you experienced serious injuries due to a truck accident, whether due to negligence, exhaustion, or simple human error, you should contact an attorney immediately to determine your eligibility to seek compensation. Call the Law Offices of George Salinas today at (512) 851-1004, or contact us online, to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.