Seasonal Trucking Changes: Why More Crashes Happen in September
Truck Crashes Increase 20% from August to September
According to the National Safety Council, fatal truck crashes are highest during the fall season and see about a 20% increase from August to September. This directly coincides with the "harvest season" in the agricultural industry—typically running from September through December depending on the state—in which truck drivers are heavily relied upon to make deliveries across the country.
Why Does Fall Have More Crashes?
As mentioned previously, trucking companies are essential to the agricultural sector, especially during the harvest period. In North Carolina (one of the top agricultural producing states with over 8.5 million acres of farmland), there is a high demand for truck drivers during this time of year. Likewise, the sensitive nature of many of the goods harvested in the state (trout, fruit, tobacco) requires that these deliveries be made within a specific timeframe.
With the stricter deadlines that come with this season, truck drivers may be more prone to speeding and other reckless driving behaviors that can make them more likely to crash. Along with this, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has exemptions for drivers making deliveries during this time.
FMCSA Regulation Exemptions During Harvest Season
Truck drivers are mandated to have only 11 hours of consecutive driving time during a standard shift. However, harvest season is an exception to this rule. During this time, drivers are exempt from the hours of service regulations so long as they meet these three conditions:
- They are transporting agricultural commodities.
- They are delivering within a 150 air-mile radius of where the commodity originated.
- These transports are only occurring during the state's designated harvest season.
However, the conditions do not require a truck driver to make only one delivery per day. If a driver is making several deliveries back-to-back without adhering to driving limits, there may be higher rates of driver fatigue and maintenance issues that could cause accidents.
Truck Crash? Daniel, Holoman & Associates LLP Can Help.
Truck crashes are known to have devastating consequences, including serious injury and death. As the rates of these collisions have been increasing over the last decade, all drivers on the road are responsible for practicing safer driving behaviors.
When involved in a truck collision, trust the attorneys with over 35 years of combined experience protecting the rights of injured motorists. Call (866) 380-2281 to schedule your free consultation with a member of our team.