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Most Common Causes of Trucking Accidents

More than 4,000 people die each year in accidents with large trucks on America’s highways; another 60,000 people are injured in accidents with large trucks. There are many causes of trucking accidents. Some are caused by the truck drivers; others are caused by drivers of passenger vehicles. Here are some of the most common causes of trucking accidents.

Truck Accidents Caused by Passenger Vehicle Drivers

The most common causes of trucking accidents caused by car drivers arise from ignorance of themost common causes of trucking accidents - Altizer Law performance limitations of large trucks. For example, many people do not understand visibility limitations and many drivers underestimate the time and distance required for trucks to slow down and to accelerate.

  1. Driving in the areas behind and beside an 18 wheeler where the truck driver has either limited or no visibility of the car.
  2. Changing lanes suddenly in front of a big rig truck.
  3. Coming up on the right side of a truck that is trying to make a right turn.
  4. Underestimating the speed of an approaching truck at an intersection and making a left turn in front of the truck.
  5. Merging into traffic without considering the speed of a truck and forcing the truck driver to brake suddenly or swerve to avoid the car.
  6. Failing to adjust speed when a commercial truck is trying to change lanes or merge.
  7. Unsafe passing (passing when there is not enough space or on a curve).
  8. Passing a truck and then being blown out of the lane by air turbulence or cross-wind.
  9. Driving between large trucks.
  10. Entering the highway in front of a truck without accelerating enough to allow room for the truck.
  11. Failing to move a disabled vehicle completely onto the shoulder.


Trucking Accidents Caused by Truck Drivers

Commercial truck drivers are well-trained, skilled, and typically patient drivers. However, in addition to handling vehicles that can be very dangerous due to size and weight, there are industry considerations that sometimes contribute to accidents. These include pay structures that encourage speeding and driving for more consecutive hours than is ordinarily considered safe and unrealistic schedules and expectations for delivery of the payload.

A study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration a few years ago analyzed trucking accidents in the U.S. They identified the top 10 factors in large truck accidents as:

  1. Brake problems
  2. Traffic flow interruption (due to congestion or a previous crash)
  3. Prescription drug use
  4. Traveling too fast for weather or road conditions
  5. Unfamiliarity with the roadway
  6. Roadway problems
  7. Requirement to stop before a crash (for a traffic light or sign, or at a crosswalk)
  8. Over-the-counter drug use
  9. Inadequate surveillance of the road and traffic
  10. Fatigued

Several studies of driver fatigue are currently in progress. Other studies are ongoing by several agencies to identify ways to prevent trucking accidents. The most important steps for big rig drivers and for drivers of passenger vehicles are heightened awareness and consideration of each other, exercise of common sense, and careful observance of the rules of the road.

Unfortunately, the most common causes of trucking accidents will not disappear because of more studies. Fatigue, inattention and distraction will continue to cause accidents between semis and passenger vehicles. If you or a loved one is injured in a trucking accident, call Altizer Law, P.C., for the experienced and tenacious representation you need against the insurance companies and trucking companies.