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What causes the majority of commercial truck crashes with cars?

Safe driving practices, including risk management, can help you reach your destination without any sort of shocking experience. However, even the safest driver still has to worry about the risk generated by other people on the road. Other drivers are a major source of concern, especially those in control of massive, potentially deadly commercial trucks.

Commercial truck drivers go through substantial education to ensure they know how to safely manage a commercial vehicle. Sadly, some of those drivers will make decisions at the wheel that will cause commerical truck crashes that will claim the lives of others or cause catastrophic personal injury and property damage.

Who causes most commercial trucking crashes?

You might think that since passenger vehicle drivers represent the vast majority of traffic on the road that they'd be responsible for causing many crashes with commercial trucks, but the evidence shows something different. When looking at all crashes involving commercial vehicles, the commercial vehicle or its driver bears responsibility for causing the incident in 55% of all crashes.

When looking specifically at collisions between a single commercial vehicle and a single passenger vehicle, the commercial truck or its driver was responsible for the crash roughly 44% of the time. Still, that means that truck drivers are responsible for approximately half of all crashes that occur involving commercial vehicles.

When looking at those crashes specifically, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration broke down the specific causes, with 10% of the crashes resulting from issues with the vehicle and 3% stemming from environmental factors. The remaining 87% of the crashes reviewed were the fault of the driver of the commercial vehicle.

What are the most common commercial trucking mistakes?

Among the 68,000 analyzed truck crashes, roughly 22,000 of those collisions stemmed from recognition, meaning the driver was not paying attention or failed to adequately observe traffic nearby. Another 30,000 crashes resulted from a bad decision, such as going too quickly for the weather or getting too close to another vehicle.

Non-performance, which usually means that the driver either fell asleep or experienced a medical emergency that prevented them from continuing to drive, caused 12% of the total truck crashes in the study. Finally, performance issues, such as panicking or improper maneuvers contributed to another 7,000 commercial vehicle crashes.

Knowledge can help you advocate for yourself

Knowing the causes of trucking accidents won't necessarily help you stay any safer on the road, as people in passenger vehicles typically don't have a clear line of vision into a commercial vehicle that a trucker has into a passenger vehicle. You won't know if that trucker has a burrito or a cellphone in their hand in the moments leading up to a collision.

However, when you understand that trucking professionals often play a significant role in causing the crash, you can better advocate for yourself at the scene of the accident and afterward by taking legal action against the driver who caused a crash through poor performance, lack of recognition or neglect.

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