Year round, trucking accidents cause fatalities, property damage, and serious personal injuries – including severe burns, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries. However, during the holiday season, truck accidents are a special concern. More companies are relying on trucks during the holiday season to deliver inventory and products for the season. This time of year tends to be the most intensive retail period of the year and companies order more products, which means more trucks on the road. Unfortunately, it can also mean more stressful schedules for truck drivers and tighter delivery deadlines, which can mean tired (and dangerous) drivers.
In addition to more inventory deliveries, many companies offer special delivery options at this time of year. Some companies offer holiday-only rush deliveries within a specific area. Other companies offer delivery year-round, but more customers take advantage of delivery during the holiday season as they try to cross off holiday lists.
During the holidays, there is more taking place, and this can mean more deliveries and more trucks on the road – a fact that can mean more accidents. For example, seasonal businesses, such as Christmas tree lots, use trucks to transport products. Holiday parades and “pictures with Santa” services require delivery trucks to open for business. Even holiday parties can mean more delivery trucks on the roads, as caterers are more busy at this time of year, shuttling appetizers and treats to parties.
Extra delivery trucks on the road can mean that truck drivers are overextended and rushed, especially as customers and businesses require rush deliveries to meet holiday goals. This can mean that some drivers are pressured to drive too quickly to make deadlines or are pressured to work longer hours in order to keep everyone happy during the holiday season. Unfortunately, speeding and driver fatigue are two leading contributors to car accidents and truck accidents. Tired, stressed drivers may make deadly mistakes on the road or may even fall asleep behind the wheel. Speeding can mean that drivers do not have enough time to react in avoiding an accident.
There are additional factors that can increase the risks of a truck accident at this time of year. In many areas of the country, poor weather conditions can be a contributing factor to truck accidents and car accidents. As well, as companies try to complete holiday deliveries, some companies hire additional drivers at this time of year. Some companies do not carefully screen or train new drivers, due to the holiday rush. This can mean that some drivers are behind the wheel when they should not be. Unqualified and untrained drivers are a risk on the roads, especially when they are driving larger trucks which can be deadly in an accident.
Some factors contributing to truck driving accidents at this time of year are outside the control of truck drivers. For example, there are more pedestrians and drivers on the roads, as more people complete holiday shopping and head on the road to visit family and friends. Additional traffic can mean a bigger risk of accidents, especially when pedestrians and drivers are distracted by their own holiday plans.