Trucks are one of the most logistically essential vehicles on the road. However, some of the deadliest and scariest crashes that happen every year involve trucks.
Items of every size are moved across the country on truck beds, and trucking companies and drivers aim to keep vehicles driving to satisfy demand. Statistics show that this combination can cause many potential problems, including truck crashes. In 2020, there were over 9,000 accidents caused by tractor-trailers, resulting in over 100 deaths and over 300 serious injuries.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
Truck drivers face pressure to deliver items on time. So, we sometimes hear stories of drivers pushing themselves to exhaustion or driving erratically. These actions result in some of the most common causes of truck accidents:
- Driving distracted
- Driving exhausted
- Driving intoxicated
- Not adjusting to changing conditions
- Bad hiring practices and training by trucking companies
- Improperly maintained trucks
Most Common Truck Accident Scenarios
Truck accidents occur in many different ways, from jackknifes to underrides.
Jackknifes happen when a semi-truck folds in on itself and the trailer skids towards the cab at a 90-degree angle. These are often caused by:
- Excessive speed
- Improper following distance
- Operator fatigue
- Unbalanced loads
- Inexperienced or untrained operator
- Bad weather
Underrides are when a passenger vehicle collides with the side or back of a truck and is caught underneath.
These are often caused by:
- Lack of focus on the vehicle’s driver
- Faulty underguards
Blind Spot Accidents
A blind spot is an area a driver cannot see even when looking in their rearview mirrors. Most trucks have signs on their trailers showing their blind spots so we can adjust our driving accordingly. There are also mirror attachments truck drivers can buy to reduce blind spots, but they are not perfect.
Blind spot accidents are caused by:
- Truck drivers failing to check their mirrors thoroughly
- Other drivers ignoring the signs and driving in a truck’s blind spot when it is merging or changing lanes
This is an instance where other drivers carry some of the responsibility for everyone’s safety since they can take steps to stay out of a truck’s blind spots.
Here, the driver loses control and the truck flips on its side. Sometimes, it will continue to roll. The most common reasons rollover accidents happen are:
- A driver either turns too quickly, or
- Skids off the road.
Wide Turn Accidents
Because of the length of a trailer, trucks cannot take turns as sharp as normal vehicles. So, you will see drivers pull farther out into an intersection before they begin their turn.
They can run over a curb or hit other vehicles if they misjudge their angle.
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