Truck Accident Rates in the US
Truck accident rates in the US are increasing; here are some facts you should consider, especially in the winter season, when the roads tend to be more dangerous.
According to the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), there are approximately 500,000 accidents a year in the country, of which almost 5,000 are fatalities, meaning that around 1 in 8 accidents involve trucks.
Main causes of truck accidents in the US
It is common to think that one of the leading causes of these accidents is driving under the influence of alcohol. Still, the truth is that 30% of fatal accidents result from the truck driver’s fatigue due to long working hours without rest. However, it is also important to say that in most cases, the truckers are not to blame for these accidents, given that according to statistics, only 38.6% are directly related to actions or behaviors of the trucker, that is, that other drivers cause 61 .4%.
Most common types of accidents
Many types of accidents can occur on the road, especially if the weather conditions are complicated, as happens in winter due to rain, mist, and even heavy snowfall in some areas of the country. The most common claims are accidents caused by cargo (toxic or explosive materials), defective elements such as brakes in poor condition, and accidents due to overturning, speeding, or high traffic flow.
The most accident-prone types of vehicles
Usually, a large part of these accidents involves 18-wheeled vehicles. It is of the utmost importance that drivers of this type of vehicle are very aware of their responsibility on the road since their lives are at risk to the people around them. When driving a truck, you commit not only to its handling and carrying loads on time but also to be aware of the respective maintenance, verify that the loads accommodate correctly, and be prudent while driving.
Where and when truck accidents occur
Accidents on the road depend on factors such as the place, day of the week, and time of day. The USDOT reported that just over 30% of fatalities occurred at night and about 65% during the day. On the other hand, 22% took place during the week and 78% on weekends. To talk about where road accidents occur most frequently, we can say that approximately 32% occurred in cities, and the remaining 68% occurred in rural or suburban areas.
What to do to reduce accident rates
Accidents involving large trucks are usually catastrophic, not only because of human losses, which is the most severe and worrying thing but also because of the damage to private property. An accident brings debts of large sums of money that are often only possible to pay if you have commercial vehicle insurance. It is essential to exercise the greatest caution and implement tactics that help counteract the number of fatal accidents. Some of our recommendations are:
- Refrain from sudden maneuvers, much less if you are close to another truck or heavy vehicle.
- Make sure your vehicle is in good standing; at the slightest alert, have it checked.
- Keep a vast space with the vehicle in front.
- If other drivers are speeding excessively or driving aggressively, it is best to remain calm and move at a safer pace.
- Keep all your documents and the commercial insurance of your vehicle up to date.
Working as a truck driver is an activity that involves high risks. Therefore you must be aware of the dangers to which you are exposed and take into account all possible precautions so that you arrive home safely every day. The best recommendation we can make to take care of your life, health, and finances is that you have adequate insurance for each aspect to have the necessary support in case of an accident or illness.
Remember to have your commercial trucking insurance up to date.