Common Causes of Truck Accidents

February 3, 2023

With greater speeds comes the increased risk of a truck accident. Truck accidents can cause serious injuries to the victims.

According to a federal report, more than 400 thousand accidents happen yearly, or around 1,100 per day, involving trucks and other heavy vehicles on the road. Check this out to be aware of some common causes of truck accidents.

Blind Spots

Blind spots are a problem for truck drivers, whose vehicles can be heavy and difficult to maneuver. There are several types of mirrors available:


  • Inside mirror – This is a side mirror you might find in any car or truck. It lets you see what’s happening behind your bumper and gives you how much room you have when changing lanes or turning corners.
  • Outside mirrors allow you to see what’s happening on each side of your vehicle without turning around, which is helpful when driving through congested areas where pedestrians are hard to see. 
  • Rearview camera – This can help prevent accidents by allowing drivers to see behind them when backing up in parking lots or making turns at intersections where visibility may be limited (such as those with low overpasses).

Many newer cars even come equipped with blind spot detection systems that automatically alert drivers when another car enters one of their blind spots so they won’t have an accident.

Inadequate Training

Trucks are much heavier than cars and require more driving skills, but many truck drivers are not properly trained to operate these vehicles. The driver was not given enough training before they were allowed to drive a large truck—or they didn’t get enough practice behind the wheel.

Negligent Hiring

Negligent hiring, or failing to screen potential employees properly before they begin employment, is a cause of truck accidents. An employer must investigate the backgrounds of new hires to ensure that they are safe drivers and will not endanger others on the road. In particular, employers should:

  • Screen applicants thoroughly for previous driving violations using third-party services like E-Verify.
  • Perform a criminal background check through a reputable service such as National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
  • Run drivers through drug tests if there is reason to suspect abuse or addiction (e.g., prior convictions for DUI/DWI).

Truck Driver Fatigue

Fatigue may cause truck drivers to be more prone to accidents because it affects their ability to make quick decisions and react appropriately to road conditions and other drivers. If truck driver is tired or sleepy, they may not properly judge how much space they need between themself and another car or object on the road. 

Additionally, if truck drivers experience fatigue from working too many hours in one day or night, they may fall asleep behind the wheel of their vehicle.

Distracted Driving

Distractions include everything from eating or drinking to talking on a cell phone or texting. These distractions can cause a driver to miss important road signs or react too late in an emergency.

If you are traveling by truck and you find yourself distracted at any point during your journey, you must pull over somewhere safe before continuing. If possible, try to avoid using the internet while driving and keep any food away from your body so that you don’t take your hands off the wheel for long.

Speeding

Speeding increases the risk of an accident. Research indicates that 8-23 percent of accidents are caused by a truck going beyond 65 mph or a truck driver going too fast for conditions like fog, snow, rain, or wind.

IIHS claims that rising speed restrictions have contributed to increased highway fatalities over the past four decades. There were almost 33,000 fatal incidents between 1993 -2013 that higher speed limits may have caused. Speeding is dangerous for many reasons:

  • It increases the severity of an accident—it may result in death or serious injury.
  • A high-speed collision has a higher chance of causing property damage.

Drugs or Alcohol

Drugs or alcohol are illegal. If you do it, you are a danger to yourself and others. These substances can greatly impair a person’s ability to drive safely, which can cause them to make mistakes that can lead to an accident. You can be arrested if you are in an accident while driving under the influence.

If you own a fleet or work for a logistics company, these problems can be prevented if you properly educate your drivers. It might be a good idea to speak with an accident attorney to ensure that your business does everything it needs to do to prevent accidents.





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