Prescription Drugs and OTC Medication Responsible for More Than 40% of Truck Accidents

Aubrey Allen Smith, a 29 year veteran road driver and an expert in transportation safety, maintains a blog devoted to trucking issues and trucking safety. In a recent entry, Mr. Smith reviewed a 2006 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration report, which compiled the top ten causes of trucking accidents.

In addition to prescription drug use (26%) and over-the-counter drug use (18%), rounding out the top ten are:

  • Traveling Too Fast 23%
  • Unfamiliar with Roadway 22%
  • Inadequate Surveillance 14%
  • Fatigue 13%
  • Illegal Maneuver 9%
  • Exterior Distraction 8%
  • Inadequate Evasive Action 7%
  • Aggressive Driving Behavior 7%

Mr. Allen notes that 1 in 20 truck drivers will be involved in an accident and that of the roughly of the 141,000 truck crashes in American every year, more than half are the direct fault of the truck driver.

Because of the number of different circumstances that may contribute to driver error, it is critical to thoroughly investigate the driver’s actions in the hours and days before the wreck as soon as possible after it occurs.