In 2013, 3,964 people were killed and 104,000 people injured in large truck crashes within the United States. This makes truck accidents among the leading causes of fatalities on US roads. Numerous factors can contribute to such accidents, but some are more common than the rest. According to NHTSA, the leading cause of truck-related accidents is driver error. This includes things like speeding, fatigue, and driving under the influence. Other causes include mechanical issues and weather conditions. The information below will take a closer look at the major causes of truck accidents in the United States.
According to the Boca Raton truck accident attorneys at Kogan & DiSalvo, driver error is the leading cause of truck accidents. This can encompass a variety of different factors and some of the most common include:
Speeding: Speeding is one of the top contributing factors to truck accidents. According to the NHTSA, speeding is involved in about a third of all fatal large truck crashes.
Fatigue: Driving for an extended period can lead to driver fatigue, which can make it difficult or impossible to react quickly and safely in an emergency.
Driving Under the Influence: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can have serious consequences and is also a common cause of truck accidents.
Along with driver error, mechanical issues are another common cause of truck accidents. NHTSA reports that about 16% of truck accidents are a result of some type of vehicle malfunction. This can include things like bad tires, brake problems, steering issues, and engine failure.
For instance, bad tires can increase the risk of tire blowouts, which are very dangerous on large trucks. Brake problems can also lead to accidents, as can cause an issue with the truck’s steering. Therefore, it is important to keep your truck well-maintained and routinely inspected to reduce the risk of accidents.
Many truck accidents are caused by conditions in the weather, such as heavy rain or snow. In fact, statistics show that weather conditions can increase the risk of a truck accident by up to 300%.
Some of the most common weather conditions that lead to truck accidents include heavy rain or even snowfall making it very difficult to stop quickly and safely, high winds which can reduce visibility and make it difficult to control the truck, and ice or slick roads which can cause the truck to slide or jack-knife.
In addition to these major causes, many other factors contribute to truck accidents, including distracted driving and bad road conditions. Overall, it is important to be aware of the dangers on the road and take steps to stay safe while driving.
Measures to Prevent Truck Accidents
There are a few things that can be done to help prevent truck accidents. Some of these include:
Regular Maintenance: Keeping the truck in good working order can help prevent mechanical issues from causing accidents.
Weigh Stations: Weigh stations help ensure that trucks are not overloaded, which can help prevent tire blowouts.
While there are multiple causes of truck accidents, some are more frequent and should be avoided. Driver error, mechanical issues, and weather conditions are all major contributing factors to these accidents. By understanding these causes, and taking measures to prevent them, we can help make the roads safer for everyone.