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Delivery Truck Accidents During The Holidays Season

Posted on 12/06/21 by admin in Auto Accidents,Workers' Compensation

The holiday season 2021 has officially begun. Many individuals are typically occupied during this season due to family gatherings and purchasing gifts for their loved ones. This season also calls for more vehicles on the road, which includes commercial or delivery trucks. Anyone who is consistently on the road during this time of year should be aware that delivery truck accidents are more likely to occur this time of the year.

Men putting packages into a delivery van.

According to the National Safety Council, December is generally the most dangerous month for drivers, with over 300 fatalities each year. Even if you find yourself in a hurry during the holidays, stay alert, especially when driving alongside trucks. Delivery truck drivers are often on tighter deadlines than usual during the holiday season. Additionally, for them to meet these deadlines, they usually speed or drive while fatigued.

Delivery Truck Accidents During The Holidays

As shipments and deliveries surge around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, trucks crisscross the nation to transport goods and gifts from one end of the country to another. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the days leading up to Christmas day until New Years day tend to have many fatalities. 

In recent years, the number of deaths from Christmas Eve until New Years day is 799 according to the U.S Department of Transportation. Holidays are also often cause for celebration and festivities involving alcohol which plays a big factor to motor-vehicle crashes. To Learn more about how to spot a drunk driver on the road click here

Truck, shipping, and supply chain management companies owe a duty of care not only to their employees but to everyone who operates a vehicle on the road. Furthermore, employers for this industry are responsible for:

  • Hiring professional drivers
  • Properly training drivers
  • Ensuring these drivers have a reasonable schedule and hours with adequate rest periods
  • Ensuring all cargo is properly secured
  • Keeping up with the maintenance of trucks
  • Ensuring truck drivers do not drive during hazard weather conditions

These companies can be overwhelmed by the holiday hassle. Regardless of the circumstance, they still take part in taking responsibility for keeping the roads safe for everyone.

Delivery Truck Drivers and Drowsy Driving

Commercial trucks can weigh up to nearly 20 tons. They are also wider, taller, and longer than all the other vehicles on the road. Their size makes them extremely dangerous in a collision. According to NSC Injury Facts, large trucks, both commercial and noncommercial, accounted for 10% of all fatal auto accidents. Accidents involving commercial trucks typically increase when the drivers are drowsy or fatigued. 

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finds that drowsy drivers are two times as likely to make driving errors at critical moments opposed to well-rested drivers. These errors can lead to fatal accidents. 

Drowsy delivery truck drivers

Any amount of sleep deprivation can have an impact regardless of the circumstance. Moreover, driving while drowsy affects important driver functions like:

  • Alertness
  • Reaction time
  • Attention
  • Decision-making
  • Judgment

All in all, drowsy driving is dangerous and can cause some serious damage. Hectic holiday driving schedules can lead to exhausted truckers, so when you drive on the road this season, proceed with caution and be aware of your surroundings.

Delivery Truck Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has provided important safety rules and regulations for truck drivers regarding the following:

  • Cannot exceed 60/70 hours of driving
  • Maintenance schedules for trucks 
  • Rules of the road
  • Driver impairment
  • Drug testing
  • Transportation of dangerous material
  • Cargo loading protocol

If any commercial truck delivery company fails to meet FMCSA’s regulations, they can possibly get harsh fines and other penalties. However, the holiday season tends to input extra time constraints on everyone, including truckers. Employers may try to push commercial truck drivers to deliver more and more cargo. Driving for extended periods of time can lead to exhaustion and impaired driving. Car accidents will increase as well as fatalities.

If a commercial truck driver gets injured in an accident due to the employer’s failure to meet FMCSA’s regulations, they are entitled to file a work injury claim. Workers’ compensation benefits and law vary from state to state. In Washington, D.C., most employers with one or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Below are the basic criterion to be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim:

  • Report job-related injury or illness to your employer within 30 days
  • Report the injury or illness in writing within 30 days of becoming aware of the condition
  • Completing a DCWC Form 7, which serves as a formal notice of injury or illness 
  • Completing a DCWC Form 7A within one year, if you decide to claim workers’ compensation benefits

How To Start Your Work Injury Claim?

Delivery truck accidents can come with some serious consequences. A tragic crash during the holidays can be painful for your loved ones. Like any other motor-vehicle accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention if you suffered from severe injuries. Next, call the police and obtain a police report. Remember to always exchange information with the other driver who was also involved in the accident and take pictures of the damages. Lastly, call an experienced personal injury attorney to start your claim. 

A person using their phone after a car accident.

There are a couple of things that you should keep in mind when starting your workers’ compensation claim:

  • Do not let the negligent party intimidate you. Your rights matter if you experienced an injury after an accident. This includes the delivery trucking company, the company’s attorney or insurance provider, and other representatives of the negligent parties. It’s your legal right to seek the compensation to which you are entitled to.
  • Do not sign anything. After an accident, victims tend to sign a document out of frustration and stress after an offer of a settlement. Your delivery truck accident attorney will guide you in determining if the settlement will be able to compensate you for all of your losses and damages.
  • Start your delivery truck accident claim as soon as possible. The longer you wait to file a truck accident claim, the more complicated it becomes to sufficiently support your case. It’s very likely to lose trust and reliability on evidence as time goes on.

Contact Malloy Law Offices, LLC Today To Start Your Case!

No one is ever prepared for delivery truck accidents in the Washington, D.C. area. It’s critical to seek a personal injury attorney right away. Most personal injury lawyers offer a free consultation regarding your case so call 202-933-1918. Enjoy the holidays with your loved ones and stay safe. An experienced personal injury lawyer will help ease your mind during this hectic time of year.