What Are The Top Causes For Truck Accidents?
There are several factors that come into play with truck accidents. On the off occasion, in an accident between a truck and a passenger vehicle, it is possible for the driver of the passenger vehicle to be at fault. However, more often than not, the accident was likely at the fault of either the truck driver or the truck company. So what are the causes behind these accidents involving large trucks and tractor trailers?
When a truck of substantial size needs to turn, they often veer to left when making a right turn, as they need additional room to complete a turn. Unfortunately when these trucks need to make a turn on a multipath street, they’re veering into the oncoming traffic lanes, causing hazardous conditions for drivers of passenger vehicles.
Blind Spots and Visibility
Just like any passenger vehicle, trucks have blind spots. Unlike the traditional passenger car, trucks have significantly larger blind spots. Blind spots can range from a couple of feet to two hundred feet, and while the truck driver is aware of this, the passenger vehicle is not. Due to the position of these blind spots, which often exist on both sides as well as the front and back, truck drivers will not see pedestrians trying to cross which results in sometimes fatal incidents.
The size of a vehicle, in addition the weight it carries, plays a significant factor in it’s ability to stop. Trucks that are traveling at 55mph can take up to 190 to 200 feet before they reach final resting point, while a passenger vehicle traveling the same speed would only take 130 to 140 feet. If the brakes of a big rig aren’t properly checked and maintained it can cause an increased delay in the final resting point. The truck driver can easily underestimate the time and distance between him and a passenger, causing an inability to stop in time, thus leading to severe collisions and injuries.
While trucks and tractor trailers are often traveling great distances, they’re often times on highways or expressways. When trucks travel down ramps or hills they’re picking up a dangerous amount of speed that can ultimately cause the truck driver to lose control. Driving too fast down a hill or ramp doesn’t give the driver enough time to anticipate a potential need to stop, and if they do break, going at such a high velocity, that only increases their chances of losing control.
A substantial factor in all truck accidents is the driver education. Part 391.11 from the FMCSR requires all drivers to be properly qualified prior to operating a truck, but the FMCSR has also identified that while a Commercial Driver’s License is necessary, it does not automatically make a driver qualified. While truck companies are acknowledging a mere signature that their employ has “read” the FMCSR Safety Handbook, that is simply not enough. Drivers need to be thoroughly educated and versed in these common causes of truck accidents as well as how they can avoid them.