If you feel nervous anytime you have to share the road with a commercial truck, you are not alone. Regrettably, when cars and semitrucks collide, cars are frequently on the losing end, and given how substantial a role commercial trucks play in modern business and commerce, the risks are unlikely to subside anytime soon.
In fact, there has been a 20 percent increase in the number of truck accidents occurring on American roadways in the last 10 years, and according to Benzinga, many of today’s commercial trucking accidents arise from similar circumstances.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration teamed up to conduct a Large Truck Crash Causation Study involving data from 120,000 fatal semitruck crashes. In nearly three-quarters of the accidents studied, at least one other vehicle was involved in the accident. In 68,000 cases, the accident was the result of an error made by the truck driver.
Notable causes of truck accidents
In 38 percent of the commercial truck crashes reported in the study, a driver’s bad decision-making was a key factor. In some cases, drivers chose to travel too quickly, given current weather conditions or traffic patterns. In others, truck drivers were unable to appropriately gauge the speed of other vehicles on the roadway, and this caused them to crash.
Meanwhile, about 28 percent of the reported semitruck crashes involved truck driver issues related to recognition. In some cases, truckers failed to recognize when they needed to take a particular action. In others, truckers found themselves distracted by something, whether it be something inside the truck cabin, on the roadside or what have you. An additional 12 percent of truck crashes are attributed to driver nonperformance, which might mean the truck driver fell asleep or suffered a medical emergency behind the wheel.
While these statistics are alarming, they also shed light on the fact that many semitruck drivers fail to follow the rules and regulations of the roadway.