Statistics show that a total of 4,714 people died in truck crashes in 2021. This shows a 17% increase in truck crashing fatalities from 2020.
As a driver, you may be interested in what causes truck crashes. Driving is quite dangerous and there are certain vehicles that create more risk on the road.
Getting into a vehicle accident is one of everyone’s worst fears. This guide will help you understand what the common culprits are when it comes to truck accidents.
Keep reading to find out the most common causes of truck crashes on the road.
Truck drivers drive for a living and have to put in a certain amount of hours. Their schedule is often determined by where they need to go to drop off their cargo.
There are a lot of laws around how long truck drivers can drive. They’re required to take a certain amount of breaks to ensure they are getting enough rest.
The problem is that truck drivers don’t always follow these rules and regulations. Or the trucking companies push the drivers to drive more than they should.
Going over the limit when it comes to driving hours can result in driver fatigue. This is one of the most common causes of truck crashes as it limits their abilities.
Driver fatigue could result in truck drivers falling asleep at the wheel. Or they could start to nod off or lose focus on what is going on around them.
This is very dangerous since truck drivers are managing such large vehicles. If they are not focused on the road, they could veer off and hit other vehicles.
Managing a vehicle is a huge responsibility that most people take on daily. The same goes for truck drivers since they are managing such a large truck.
The problem is that not everyone understands this responsibility and takes it seriously. Some truck drivers don’t focus on the road as they should for everyone’s safety.
Driving distracted is a huge reason why vehicles get into accidents. Even if you look down for a few seconds, a lot can go wrong in that timeframe.
This is especially true when it comes to such a large vehicle. Some common forms of distracted driving include using your phone or eating while at the wheel.
If a driver needs to do these things, they should pull over for a period of time.
Most people have probably heard of the bad reputation of truck drivers. This reputation goes something like how reckless they can be on the road.
Unfortunately, this reputation is not necessarily an exaggeration. There are plenty of truck drivers on the road who drive recklessly and aggressively.
This can happen for a variety of reasons linked to their job. Truck drivers may be less patient since they spend so much time on the road with other vehicles.
They may also be on a tight schedule and need to go as quickly as possible. The result of driving recklessly can often end in a truck crash involving other vehicles.
The truck may have been going too fast, resulting in the driver losing control. Or the driver may have tried to pass other vehicles and wasn’t able to pull it off.
This is why it is so important for everyone on the road to show courtesy to each other. It is not worth the risk of getting into an accident because of impatience.
Truck Maintenance Issues
Commercial trucks are used for a variety of tasks related to cargo. They often transport goods from one location to another, depending on the company.
Because these trucks manage cargo, they are extremely large compared to normal vehicles. They also require a great deal of maintenance as they are on the road so often.
Some trucking companies try to cut corners by not performing enough maintenance. This can become a huge issue since maintenance issues can come up while on the road.
For instance, a tire may come off the truck while the driver is driving on a highway. This is a huge danger to other drivers as the tire can hit their vehicle.
There are plenty of regulations around conditions for trucks. They are supposed to get regular care to ensure all problems are fixed before they head out again.
Bad Weather Conditions
When it comes to truck crashes, some things are out of the driver’s hands. In most vehicle accidents, someone is generally at fault for something that they did wrong.
But issues can also come up with the weather that can impact driving conditions. Things like ice, snow, and rain can all hinder clear vision when it comes to driving.
This creates a hazard since the truck driver is driving partially blind. These kinds of weather conditions can also impact the road and how the truck drives.
It may start to lose traction and slide around into other lanes. Or something like black ice can cause the driver to lose control out of the blue.
This is why it is so important for trucking companies to track weather conditions. When they do this, they can alert drivers of bad weather conditions ahead of them.
The law is very strict when it comes to how truck drivers behave. One of the regulations is the amount of blood alcohol content they can have when driving.
Details like this are extremely important since they are operating such a large vehicle. A truck has the ability to cause a massive accident if the driver’s impaired.
Unfortunately, intoxicated truck drivers are not a rarity. There are still truck drivers who drink a little on the job and go over the legal limit.
Intoxication restricts your mental abilities and ability to react. These things have a negative impact on your driving abilities since you can’t focus the way you need to.
The effects of alcohol could even aggravate the symptoms of driver fatigue. Some people become sleepy after drinking alcohol and lose their ability to focus.
Incorrect Cargo Loading
If you drive often, you have probably passed a wide variety of trucks. These trucks carry all kinds of cargo from trees to food to construction materials.
It is very important that cargo’s loaded correctly onto the trucks. If it isn’t secure, there is always a chance of the cargo becoming loose from the movement.
Trucks often drive on freeways where the driving speed is higher. A common cause of truck crashes involves the cargo not being loaded the way it should have been.
Items may fall off the truck, creating road hazards for other drivers. Or the driver may become distracted if they notice that the cargo is moving around.
When you drive a vehicle, there are all kinds of dangers you have to be aware of. One of these dangers includes unexpected hazards that could be present on the road.
This is a danger for any kind of vehicle but especially for trucks. A huge portion of truck crashes involved some kind of road hazard.
This could be something as simple as a tire left on the road. Or an animal may have run out into the road in front of the driver.
Any of these instances could result in the truck swerving and skidding a crossed the road. When this happens, everyone else on the road is in danger of being hit.
The truck is also at risk of rolling over if it is going fast enough. That is why keeping an eye out for roadway hazards is one of the best forms of injury prevention.
There are not a lot of requirements you have to meet if you want to become a truck driver. This is a relatively low-maintenance job where you don’t need many skills.
Because of this, trucking companies often hire anyone off the road. The problem with this is that they may not do correct background checks on people they hire.
They may hire someone who has shown reckless driving in the past. Another common issue is a lack of proper training that teaches drivers how to manage the trucks.
This can result in inexperienced drivers causing greater risk to other vehicles on the road. They may not have had enough training or did not complete a test.
Without enough experience, they may not understand how important safe driving is. A lack of training also creates a higher risk of them not following the guidelines.
If you were involved in a truck accident, you may have PTSD after the fact. If that is something you are struggling with, you should consider the option to sue for PTSD after accident.
There are lawyers who specialize in this area that can help you win your case.
Vehicle Accidents: Common Culprits of Trucking Crashes
If you often drive, you may worry about truck crashes. Some of the most common causes of accidents include fatigue and distracted driving.
These accidents can result in serious injuries or even fatalities. This is why it is important to be safe and aware when on the road.