Top 10 Causes of Truck Accidents
According to the Large Truck Causation Study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, driver behavior is the number one cause of tractor trailer tuck accidents. In fact, drivers are 10 times more likely to cause the accident than weather, road conditions, or vehicle performance.
The Large Truck Causation Study was the first of its kind to examine all pre-accident factors involved in commercial truck crashes. The study, in association with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, investigated a national sample of fatal and injury crashes between April 2001 and December 2003 at 24 sites in 17 states. Each crash involved at least one large truck and resulted in at least one fatality or injury. The total sample of 967 crashes included 1,127 large trucks, 959 non-truck motor vehicles, 251 fatalities, and 1,408 injuries. Action or inaction by the driver of either the truck or other vehicle was the critical reason for 88 percent of the crashes.
“This study makes it clear that we need to spend more time addressing driver behavior, as well as making sure trucks and buses are fit for the road,” FMCSA Administrator Annette M. Sandberg said. “The multitude of data now available will allow us to analyze specific areas of behavior and work with our industry and safety partners to develop an agenda on driver safety that will improve commercial motor vehicle driver performance.”
Here are the Top 10 Causes of Trucking Accidents:
1. Prescription Drug Use – 26% – Prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as illegal drugs, especially when they’re affecting the reaction times of a semi truck driver.
2. Traveling Too Fast – 23% – Weighing up to 80,000 pounds, tractor trailer trucks become lethal weapons at high speeds.
3. Unfamiliar with Roadway – 22% – Truck rivers who are not familiar with local roads pose a risk to other drivers.
4 . Over-the-Counter Drug Use – 18% – Over-the-counter drugs often cause drowsiness and delayed reaction times.
5. Improper Surveillance – 14% – Because of their enormous size, semi trucks can make surveillance difficult, but all drivers should be trained in proper surveillance and know how to check their blind spots.
6. Fatigue – 13% – Trucking companies often encourage drivers to continue working when fatigued.
7. Illegal Maneuver – 9% – When a tractor trailer changes lanes without signaling, there’s not much you can do about it.
8. Exterior Distraction – 8% – Truck drivers are trained to keep their eyes on the road at all times, but unfortunately, exterior distractions often cause wrecks.
9. Inadequate Evasive Action – 7% – Tractor trailers are so big that evasive action is often unsuccessful.
10. Aggressive Driving Behavior – 7% – Truck drivers who are in a hurry are much more likely to cause an accident.
Other common causes of tractor trailer accidents include talking or texting on cell phones and driving under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol.
Common mechanical causes of truck accidents include brake problems, defective tires, improper loading or overloading of cargo, and skipped safety inspections.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, it’s imperative that you call an experienced attorney as soon as possible. MLN Law specializes in auto and truck accidents, and we can help you get the recovery you need. Call MLN Law at (404) 531-9700 to schedule your free consultation.