Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents
The most common causes of truck accidents on America’s highways can be avoided if you follow road regulations responsibly. Truck accidents cause more than 4,000 deaths a year, and more than half occur on major highways between the hours of 6 a.m. a and 3 p.m.
Although many factors increase road accident rates, some repeat more frequently. Please pay special attention to them and always try to avoid them. Remember that your safety and well-being also depend on your behavior and responsibility on the road.
Fatigue is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. On many occasions and in an attempt to transport a load in the shortest possible time, many truckers overlook the break necessary to rest and thus guarantee performance in optimal conditions. Since fatigue affects a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle, the FMCSA sets a limit of about 11 hours of driving maximum during the day.
Another frequent cause is external distractions, for example: sending text messages, checking the GPS, or answering calls without using hands-free while driving. Other actions, such as eating, drinking, or tuning the radio, seem simple but can also cause serious accidents. While driving your truck, you might concentrate on that single task and avoid being distracted by external factors.
According to the FMCSA, more than 30% of fatal truck accidents are related to speeding. Although there is good signage to control speed limits, many drivers speed without considering road conditions, such as weather or traffic. And this, consequently, can end in material damage or, in the worst cases, serious accidents that can take the lives of both the trucker and third parties involved.
Use of psychoactive drugs or alcohol
Although the FMCSA requires that trucking companies need their employees to undergo random drug and alcohol testing (Random program & Clearinghouse), many truckers do not comply with this requirement, which translates into a more significant number of probabilities of fatal accidents on the roads. Although this cause represents only 0.4% of truck accidents, it is essential to remember that both the consumption of alcohol and psychoactive substances affect alertness and directly impact your ability to maneuver when you experience a mishap on the road.
Commercial trucks are more prominent, either in size or weight, so it is more difficult for them to apply rapid braking, and in the event of an impact, this force is much higher when compared to a noncommercial vehicle. Due to their large size, commercial trucks have a higher number of blind spots, which require the ability of the trucker to clear and avoid situations such as: backing up another vehicle or changing lanes without looking.
Why are truck accidents more serious?
Truck accidents can become more dangerous as trucks weigh up to 80,000 pounds more than a standard vehicle. For reasons like this, automatic emergency braking has been implemented; a regulation requires the installation of speed limiters and commercial insurance of between 750,000 and 5 million dollars. Be sure to implement these prevention measures before an accident. Remember that your well-being is the most important thing, and your family is waiting at home.
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