It is instinctual for you to feel nervous when you see a semitruck looming next to your vehicle on the highway. Even though you understand that the professionals with commercial driver’s licenses undergo rigorous training and must follow strict rules regarding their conduct at the wheel, the difference in size makes commercial trucks a big safety risk for those in four-wheeled passenger vehicles.
You can reduce your personal risk of getting hurt in a crash by focusing your driving habits on safety, especially when driving in close proximity to commercial vehicles. When you understand the top causes of commercial truck collisions, you may have an easier time avoiding a wreck when out on the road.
How big rigs cause wrecks
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, when a commercial truck is to blame for a collision, something the driver did or did not do is often the cause. Truck drivers are the source of 87% of the crashes caused by commercial vehicles.
The top driver-related causes include non-performance, such as when a driver falls asleep at the will, poor decisions or improper maneuvers for road conditions. Drivers may misjudge the correct following speed or fail to slow down when the weather is bad because they want to make a deadline. Roughly 10% of the crashes caused by commercial trucks are the results of something wrong with the vehicle, like bad brakes or an improperly loaded trailer.
When passenger vehicles cause wrecks
Insufficient caution is a major contributing factor to the crashes attributed to the smaller vehicles involved. People tend to forget the limitations on a big rig’s maneuvers, which can put them at risk.
For example, people may merge or turn too closely in front of a commercial truck, resulting in a rear-end collision. They may drive in blind spots, which results in a crash when the truck driver maneuvers into another lane. There are also some of the more common crash causes, including intoxication, distraction and drowsiness on the part of the driver.
Giving commercial trucks adequate space on the road and being cautious about the maneuvers you make could help you avoid a commercial truck collision or at least ensure you are not responsible for causing one.