Commercial trucks, also called semis, tractor-trailers, or big-rigs, are beasts of the road. Anyone who shares the road with these vehicles must be cautious of potential hazards, such as blind spots and differences in how the vehicles handle. Even a seemingly small error can result in a catastrophic accident.
Truck drivers and those sharing the road should be constantly aware of risk factors for truck accidents and should take steps to prevent these accidents from occurring.
Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents
To help drivers be aware and take appropriate steps to be safe, we offer a list of some of the most common causes of truck accidents:
- Distracted Driving: Truck drivers can easily be distracted by mobile devices, radios, eating, GPS devices, etc. Any distracted driver is a hazard to other motorists.
- Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers often drive for long periods of time. If they don’t take mandated sleep breaks, they are at risk of fatigue or falling asleep at the wheel. Fatigue can be as dangerous as driving drunk.
- Intoxication: Truck drivers who drink alcohol are not only breaking the law, but they are also putting lives in danger. But truck drivers can also become intoxicated by prescription drugs or stimulants. Even some over-the-counter medications can cause impairment and should be used with caution.
- Inadequate Training: When truck drivers are not adequately trained in driving or properly maintaining their trucks, they are more likely to make mistakes. Over-correcting, driving too close, or not knowing how to handle poor weather conditions are common errors due to inadequate training.
- Improper Loading: When a large truck loads up cargo, it is expected to maintain specific guidelines regarding weight, length, height, and how the cargo is secured. Not adhering to these guidelines can be dangerous. Trucks can be too heavy to steer safely, which can affect nearby traffic, or the truck could tip over.
Of course, drivers in other vehicles can also contribute to, or cause, an accident. All drivers must be aware of hazards and take steps to avoid causing an accident.