A car crash with a commercial truck will typically cause worse damage to the smaller vehicle. Sometimes, commercial crashes are the result of people in smaller vehicles making mistakes, but many times, the commercial driver is the one ultimately at fault for a collision.
Researchers carefully track the causes of trucking crashes to help promote a safer commercial transportation industry. What are some of the top ways that truck drivers contribute to collisions on the road?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s analysis of collision statistics, trucker decisions are responsible for approximately 38% of the crashes caused by commercial vehicles. In other words, more than one in three commercial wrecks caused by the bigger vehicle is the result of a driver making a bad choice.
Perhaps they didn’t watch closely enough to determine the speed of another vehicle before starting a turn. Maybe they got too close to the rear end of another vehicle and couldn’t stop in time. They may have just driven too fast for the density of traffic or weather conditions. Those mistakes can have catastrophic consequences for other people.
Recognition issues are the second leading reason why commercial drivers cause crashes. Failing to pay attention to the road conditions and monitor the environment is a recognition issue. Collisions are caused by internal or visual distraction fall into this category. About 28% of the crashes caused by big trucks are the result of recognition issues.
Non-performance or faulty performance
The final two major categories of trucker mistakes that cause crashes involve non-performance and performance. Non-performance means that the trucker did not continue to actively control the vehicle. They may have fallen asleep at the wheel or experienced a medical emergency that prevented them from continuing to drive.
Performance issues, on the other hand, might involve drivers who overcompensate for traffic conditions or don’t maintain control over their vehicle. Non-performance issues are at fault in 12% of collisions caused by big trucks, while performance is responsible for another 9% of these wrecks.
Many of these issues are preventable if a truck driver focuses on safety rather than just speed. Learning what causes truck crashes can help you respond appropriately if you ever experience one.