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.
Davenport, IA-Rock Island-Moline, IL
Little Rock-Pine Bluff, AR
Green Bay-Appleton, WI
Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL
Ivan Olvera Rangel, 27, dies after vehicle hits disabled truck on I-275 in Hillsborough County, Florida
Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX
Paducah, KY-Cape Girardeau, MO-Harrisburg, IL
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
Paramedic Marina Challeen, 24, killed, Susanna Grace Kelly, 27, injured when ambulance strikes stalled semi on I-694 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
Sami S. Guzick, 50, and Jugoslav Djordjevic, 49, dead in fiery crash involving 3 commercial vehicles on I-80 near Joliet, Illinois
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA
Melissa and Schon Hudson, both 34, and Emerie Hudson, 3, killed; several injured when semi runs red light, crashing into 3 vehicles at U.S. 127 and Route 725 in Camden, Ohio
Des Moines-Ames, IA
Aurora Wheeler, 2, killed, Bethany Wheeler, 34, injured when semi truck driven by William Kenneth Grothe fails to stop for stalled traffic on I-80 in Dexter, Iowa
Corpus Christi, TX
Cynthia Gonzales, 45, dies when truck carrying gasoline overturns at FM 624 and CR 308 near Orange Grove, Texas
Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, NC
2 in critical condition, 2 injured after multi-vehicle crash at Yanceyville Street and 16th Street in Greensboro
Traverse City-Cadillac, MI
Kenneth Swartzendruber, 76, and Audrey Swartzendruber, 77, killed in chain-reaction crash in the Upper Peninsula
Greenville-Spartanburg, SC-Asheville, NC-Anderson, SC
Wichita-Hutchinson, KS Plus
Darren Chaytor, 31, and Tyler Fhurong, 21, dead after truck crashes into semi on I-5 in Elk Grove, California
Landon M. Staley, 16, Travin K. Nelson-Phongphiou, 16, and Mikayla Sorenson, 15, dead, 15-year-old girl injured after van drives under parked semi trailer on Alderwood Mall Parkway in Lynnwood, Washington
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