Accidents involving large trucks, such as tractor-trailers, can cause severe injuries and fatalities to drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, nearly 5,000 large truck accidents claimed the lives of individuals involved in crashes in 2020.
While significant truck accidents decreased between 2019 and 2020, these accidents continue to cause injuries and death. Motorists who share the roads with these heavy vehicles can keep themselves safe by recognizing a few common factors that often play a part in such crashes.
Many truck accidents occur on rural roads, where drivers may increase their speed due to reduced traffic. However, tractor-trailers and other large trucks need significant time and distance to brake safely. The ability to do so on rural roads, which often include sharp curves and hills that reduce visibility, could affect braking.
2. Time of day
Many large truck accidents occur during evening hours, when truck drivers experience reduced visibility. Drivers in smaller vehicles may also fail to clear large semis while attempting to pass them in the dark due to distractions affecting their vision or a reduced ability to see clearly while driving at night.
3. Day of the week
Most accidents that result in severe injury or death usually occur during the week, when the transport of goods happens more frequently, and truck drivers attempt to meet their delivery quotas and satisfy delivery schedules. This usually results in more trucks on roadways during the week.
When accidents involving large trucks occur, drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles experience injuries because of the sheer size of semis and other heavy transport trucks.