Why Harvest Season Means More Trucking Accidents

grain truck being filled in an open outdoor space

Over the years, data from the National Safety Council has shown that more truck crashes occur during the fall season than any other. This correlates with what is typically known as “harvest season” in more rural/agricultural areas, spanning from mid-September through late November, depending on the region.

But what about this time of year increases accident risk? There may be a few explanations.

Delivery Schedule

Trucks being used for harvest season are generally on strict delivery schedules with time constraints. Because of this, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has different hours of service regulations for trucks carrying agricultural commodities. As part of these regulations, drivers see exemptions such as not having to log work hours, no break requirements for certain loads, and more.

Because of these exceptions, drivers may push their limits to make deliveries on time. This may lead to neglecting their health and safety by not resting, speeding, or making erratic decisions on the road.

Roadway Type

Unsurprisingly, these trucks will be driving on different terrain during this time of year. Some roads may be fully dirt or not well-maintained. It’s important to note that statistically, rural roads see more fatal crashes annually than those in urban areas. When this already enhanced danger is combined with deadline pressure, it may cause more wear and tear on the truck and contribute to a crash.

Inclement Weather

Depending on the region, inclement weather may begin appearing as soon as fall begins. Although truck drivers are trained in how to handle severe weather, iced-over roads, heavy snow or rain, and other drivers on the road mishandling conditions may all contribute to the possibility of a crash. Especially when cargo is loaded improperly, such as not distributed evenly, jackknifing or rollovers during inclement weather may be more likely.

Central Valley Truck Accident Attorneys

At Fowler | Helsel | Vogt, our team is dedicated to helping all motorists hold negligent individuals accountable for endangering the roads. We have extensive experience in navigating motor vehicle accident claims and can help you on the road to recovery. Schedule a free consultation today by calling (559) 900-1280.

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