Operating a large truck takes more skill and concentration than driving a passenger vehicle. Their sheer size and weight present increase risk for crashes and injuries.
There are common factors related to accidents involving large trucks. Some are due to other drivers and some relate to truck drivers or other factors.
Accidents due to passenger vehicles
According to FindLaw, drivers of other vehicles are more often the cause of large truck crashes. Many drivers do not understand that the size of the trucks make them harder to operate, and many do not know how to drive around them.
Common maneuvers that result in accidents include driving in a truck’s blind spots, merging improperly, unsafe passing, changing lanes abruptly, turning in front of a truck, failing to adjust speed to allow a truck to change lanes and driving in between two trucks.
Factors related to truck drivers and other causes
Although truck drivers need to take special driving training and meet certain requirements to get their commercial driver’s license, not all of them have the proper training, which can lead to crashes. The schedules and deadlines set by many trucking companies result in fatigued drivers and speeding.
In fact, EHS Daily Advisor reports that speeding is the most common truck driver-related factor, followed by distracted driving. Colliding with another vehicle was a common cause of fatal crashes and injuries.
Only around 6% of fatal accidents were due to issues with the vehicle, and the most common problem was tire-related. Although inclement weather, nighttime driving and interstate driving are factors in accidents, they were not major contributors.