The deadliest car crashes tend to involve commercial trucks due to their massive size and weight. These accidents are occurring more often, too. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 2017 saw a 10% increase from 2016 in fatal truck collisions and a 5% increase in large truck crashes resulting in injury.
What is causing the higher rates? Some common factors in commercial truck accidents include the following three.
1. Improper training
There is a reason why commercial truck drivers must have a separate license instead of just using their regular Class D license. Operating huge vehicles takes training, not only for maneuvering something of that size but also for learning defensive driving and safety techniques. In an effort to fill vacancies fast, some employers rush new drivers through training, putting them on the road before they are ready.
2. Rushed schedules
This is the age of instant gratification. People do not like to wait. Therefore, trucking companies try to get shipments to arrive as soon as possible. They may set unrealistic schedules and/or offer incentives for truckers to driver faster and longer. Both speeding and drowsy driving are significant contributors to car accidents.
3. Errors of passenger drivers
Not every collision is the fault of the truck driver. Sometimes, drivers of passenger vehicles are responsible due to making one of these mistakes:
- Driving in the truck’s blind spot or between two trucks
- Cutting off a truck, which takes longer to brake
- Getting in the way of a truck making a right turn, which requires lots of room
- Passing a truck unsafely
- Not allowing a truck to merge or change lanes
Just as truckers need to be aware of other motorists, so do passenger drivers need to be considerate of large trucks on the road to avoid an accident. If it still happens despite your care, you can hold the party legally accountable for the financial consequences.