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3 reasons that large commercial trucks crash into other vehicles

On Behalf of Bennerotte & Associates, P.A.

May 23, 2023

Truck/Semi Accidents

Professionals who operate commercial trucks are generally very dedicated and skilled drivers. They undergo special training to improve their ability and must hold themselves to a higher standard on the road than the average motorist.

However, the extra rules that apply to semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles don’t eliminate the possibility of those commercial drivers causing crashes. It is unfortunately still relatively common for a semi-truck driver or other commercial operator to be the at-fault party in a crash between a large vehicle and a four-wheeled passenger vehicle. Those who share the road with commercial trucks may have an easier time protecting themselves if they understand what commercial drivers might do that could result in a collision.

They make “wrong” decisions

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) tracks every reported crash involving a licensed semi-truck to analyze the data and establish trends. When looking at the collisions where the big vehicle is the one to blame, roughly 38% of the time, the driver will have made a significant decision-making error prior to the crash. They may have misjudged the space required to complete a right-hand turn or may have chosen to follow another vehicle too closely rather than risk other vehicles merging in front of them in traffic. Those bad decisions can end up having catastrophic consequences for the people in the other vehicle.

They don’t notice traffic issues

Recognition errors are the second leading cause of collisions where commercial drivers are to blame for the wreck, causing another 28% of the reported collisions. Often, recognition errors stem from distraction. A driver looking down at their phone or craning their neck to look at an accident nearby may not notice another vehicle that merges or brakes in front of them, and that recognition error could have tragic consequences.

They are unable to perform their jobs

Sometimes, a crash occurs because a commercial driver simply does not do what they should in the situation. Occasionally, that failure is because they are unable to take the necessary steps for their own safety. Roughly 12% of the collisions caused by commercial trucks are the results of non-performance. Falling asleep at the wheel, having a heart attack or experiencing some other medical emergency could leave a driver incapable of form their job.

While drivers don’t necessarily know the health status or distraction level of a truck driver near them in traffic, they can at least be more cautious in following traffic safety rules when close to commercial trucks. Learning more about what causes the worst collisions may help drivers to more easily avoid them.