Semi-trucks, buses and other large vehicles are at higher risk of being in a crash, and truck-related accidents also result in more severe injuries.
There are various causes of accidents involving trucks. Some are truck driver related, while others are due to the inexperience of passenger vehicle operators.
Driver and truck-related factors
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the expectations that truck companies have of their drivers are often extreme. These cause drivers to work more hours than they should, which results in fatigue and greatly affects their driving ability.
Equipment issues, particularly brake failures, are also factors in accidents. Not conducting regular inspections or making necessary repairs puts everyone on the road in danger. The cause of some accidents is due to an imbalanced load or other vehicle design flaws. A lack of driver training and experience are also factors.
Passenger vehicle factors
Trucks and their drivers are not the only ones responsible for crashes. According to the Roadway Safety Foundation, 80% of crashes that involve passenger vehicles are the fault of the smaller vehicle. This is often due to the fact that drivers do not know how to safely drive in the presence of larger trucks.
Driving around trucks takes different skills than required with passenger vehicles. Things to keep in mind include:
- Trucks have four major blind spots: in front, in the back and on each side
- Trucks take longer to accelerate and slow down
- Trucks need more room to make turns
Being aware of these facts can help you drive more cautiously and defensively when around larger vehicles.