Trucks, trailers, and tankers are some of the most massive objects on the roads of America. They are extremely heavy, which means that they can be difficult to maneuver, and they can do tremendous damage to objects and people simply by coming in contact with them. This is why driving a truck is so thoroughly regulated and commercial truck drivers are required to have so much specialized training. Nevertheless, despite the best efforts of truck drivers, government officials, traffic engineers and the public-at-large, truck accidents still occur. Here are some of the most common causes of a truck accident.
The most common cause of trucking accidents is driver error, and the driver who causes the error is usually in a passenger car. Truckers commit the driver error approximately one time out of five. However, accidents caused by equipment failure are more likely to be the fault of the trucker and their company. Trucks log thousands of miles in an average month, and they require regular upkeep to stay in safe working condition. Tires are an area of special concern, and most people are aware of the dangers that come from a tire suddenly losing its tread on the highway.
Inclement weather is also an area of major concern for trucks and trucking companies. Trucks are generally more vulnerable to high wind and slightly less vulnerable to wet or slick surfaces. However, one area in which trucks are much more dangerous is heavy fog. A fully loaded semi simply takes longer to stop than a passenger car, and therefore can be more dangerous when visibility is low. Finally, improperly loaded cargo is another cause of truck accidents. Heavy weights that shift in transit can easily cause a serious incident.
Some statistics indicate that around 80% of the accidents between a truck and a passenger car are caused by the driver of the car and that the driver and passengers of the car are much more at risk of harm than the truck driver. In any collision between a truck and a passenger vehicle, the occupants of the passenger vehicle are more likely to be injured or killed.