Accident Topic - Common Causes of Commercial Trucking Accidents

With the steady rise in commercial trucking across the nation, it is not surprising that commercial trucking accidents remain a major safety issue on America’s roadways. The relative size and weight of a commercial truck, compared to other vehicles on the roads, presents unique dangers to passenger vehicles and their occupants.

These statistics, from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, provide some eye-opening facts about truck crashes. From 2011 to 2012:

  • The number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased by 5%, from 3,633 to 3,802.
  • The number of large trucks involved in injury crashes increased by 22%, from 63,000 to 77,000.
  • The number of large trucks involved in property damage only crashes increased by 14 percent, from 221,000 to 253,000.

Give these statistics, it is clearly an advantage to understand common causes of commercial trucking accidents, and be aware of the dangers. Analysis of trucking accidents illustrates typical ways that collisions occur.

Common unsafe acts committed by car drivers which often result in truck accidents:

  • Driving in the areas behind and beside a commercial truck where the truck driver has limited visibility;
  • Quickly changing lanes or cutting off a truck;
  • Making a left turn in front of an approaching truck at an intersection;
  • Merging improperly, thereby causing a truck to maneuver or brake rapidly;
  • Failing to adjust speed to allow a truck to change lanes or merge;
  • Unsafe passing;
  • Pulling into traffic from the roadside in front of a truck;
  • Failing to get a disabled vehicle completely off the roadway and onto the shoulder.

Truck accidents are also caused by commercial truck drivers who:

  • may have inadequate training regarding safe and defensive driving techniques;
  • have employers who encourage faster vehicle speeds and more consecutive work hours to meet unrealistic goals;
  • experience fatigue after too many hours on the road;
  • are unfamiliar with the region and the roadway;
  • experience equipment failure that causes unsafe driving conditions, like tire blowouts and brake failure.

Many of these common truck accident causes are based on human error, giving us hope that with some education and awareness, the rate of commercial truck accidents and injuries can be reduced. 

Since trucking accidents tend to lead to serious injuries and even death for people in passenger vehicles, the resulting personal injury claims tend to be more complicated and require the help of an experienced injury attorney. Go here to learn more about personal injury claims.

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