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Common reasons for truck accidents

Driving a truck comes with a very important responsibility. Since the average truck weighs 20 to 30 times more than a car, the amount of devastation a truck accident can cause is significant. One small mistake or failure to pay attention for a split second can result in substantial property damage, severe injuries and potentially even death.

Every year thousands of people suffer injuries or lose their lives due to truck accidents. The NHTSA reported 4,102 deaths from large truck accidents in 2017, which is an increase of roughly 100 people from 2016. These numbers have improved significantly since the 1980s, but the death toll for trucking accidents still remains high. It is unrealistic to completely eliminate truck accidents overnight but understanding common reasons why they occur can help prevent this issue from growing.

Driver fatigue

There is an expectation that truck drivers cover thousands of miles in a short span of time. Moreover, drivers have monetary incentives to spend more hours on the road. Naturally, this has led to many truckers spending too much time driving and not enough time resting.

As a result, federal regulations have placed a limit on the number of hours that a truck driver can spend on the road. While this certainly helps, it does not completely eliminate the issue of driver fatigue. Drivers need to be more aware of how their rest schedule affects their ability to operate their vehicle properly in order to prevent trucking accidents.

Equipment failure

Every day drivers put hundreds of miles on their trucks. This naturally has a significant impact on the wear and tear of the vehicle. As a result, trucking companies must regularly have their vehicles checked for equipment failures. Failure to do so can put the driver in a very dangerous situation.

Getting on the road with failing break pads, worn tires or windshield issues can put both the trucker and other drivers on the road at significant risk. Truck drivers have the responsibility to take care of these issues on a regular basis to assure that their vehicles operate properly.

Distracted driving

Distracted driving is a huge issue for everyone who runs a motor vehicle. Truck drivers are no different in this regard. That said, trucking accidents are much more catastrophic, which heightens the importance of driving without distractions.

This may refer to anything from scrolling through messages on your cell phone to losing yourself in thought on a wide-open road. It is important for each driver to determine which distractions will affect them individually and take the proper precautions to minimize distracted driving issues.

Poor driving conditions

Many of the same issues that affect standard drivers also impact people who drive trucks. Point being, the weather and other elements that affect conditions of the road also greatly affect truck drivers’ ability to drive under control.

Truck drivers need to be aware of the elements and how they will affect their vehicle. Understanding how their truck runs in heavy rain or snow is very important for maintaining a safe approach on the road. Icy roads and hydroplaning can be difficult for inexperienced drivers and lead to dangerous accidents.