Causes of truck accidents

Common Driver Errors in Truck Accidents

The most common reason for accidents involving commercial vehicles is driver error. Trucks are more likely to cause damage and injury in an accident due to their size. If a driving error is made on the road, then an accident is likely to occur.

Causes of truck accidentsReasons for Driver Error

Commercial truck driver error is 10 times more likely to be the cause of an accident than conditions of the road, weather and vehicle failure. A study done by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration looked at various factors for driver error that led to an accident. Drivers taking prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicines caused 44% of accidents. Driving too fast for road conditions was a factor that led to 23% of accidents. Fatigue while driving resulted in 18% of accidents.

Blind Spots

Large commercial trucks have areas where a passenger car cannot be seen. These are a “no-zone” that is present on commercial vehicles at the front, when making right turns, and when backing up. Passenger vehicles in a “no-zone” have a 60% chance of being involved in an accident. If a truck driver is not aware of vehicles in the “no-zone”, then an accident involving driver error is more likely to occur.

Improper Braking

Truck drivers may cause an accident due to improper braking. This occurs when drivers lower the power of the front brakes on the truck. The result is a reliance on the trailer brakes to stop or slow. Lowering the power of the front brakes is done typically to decrease wear and tear to minimize maintenance costs. A driver who does not have enough power to the brakes has a higher chance of causing an accident.

Trailer Connection

Jackknifing of a semi-truck is often the result of a trailer that is not attached properly. Trailers need to be connected properly to the truck. If a driver is in a hurry or takes shortcuts, then the trailer may come loose and slide to one side. This is common during winter when ice is on the roads.

Driver Fatigue

Truck drivers who are fatigued suffer from distracted attention, ignore signs of trouble and overreact to situations. Speeding may also occur because a driver is running late or wants to make up time. Drivers who are tired and who are in a hurry often make preventable mistakes. Mistakes are driver errors that can lead to an accident.