According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, American roads were the site of over 350,000 crashes involving commercial trucks in 2007 alone. Truck accidents tend to occur on highways, where many trucks drive, and where speed is often a factor as well. Speed, combined with the large size of most commercial trucks, ensures that most truck collisions result in tragedy. Many trucking accidents result in spinal cord injuries, loss of life, amputations, broken bones, burn injuries, brain injuries, and other serious injuries and damages.
Being in a truck accident is far more deadly than being in a car accident. While two cars tend to be fairly well matched and tend to weigh only about 3000 pounds, a fully loaded commercial truck can weigh over 80,000 pounds. In an accident, such a truck can completely crush a passenger vehicle and everyone in it. While the truck driver is often somewhat protected in the cab, simply because he or she is elevated and in a larger vehicle, those in a passenger vehicle have very limited protection against such a massive force.
According to The National Transportation Safety Board, the major causes of trucking accidents tend to be poor driver training, driver fatigue, and speeding. In addition, overloaded or oversized trucks, poor weather conditions, mechanical failure, defective parts, and driver inexperience contribute to many truck accidents. Finally, some truck accidents occur due to reckless driving. Drivers may not give right of way, may drive aggressively, or may even be driving under the influence.
The way some companies are structured can contribute to truck accidents. Some companies, for example, do not carefully screen their drivers or do not take proper care of their fleet of trucks. Some companies pressure drivers to overload trucks or to make very challenging deadlines, which can push drivers to speed or to take stimulants in order to stay awake.
In some cases, poor driving on the part of passenger vehicles contributes to trucking accidents. Some cars do not take precautions when passing or following trucks. Some drivers, for example, do not take pains to ensure that truck drivers can see them at all times. Since trucks have more blind spots, it becomes important to use extra caution around them. Some drivers also do not give trucks additional space, especially on hills.
Being aware of the major causes of trucking accident can help you avoid these accidents. Using extra caution and watching for danger signs can help you keep back and can help you avoid a serious accident.