How truck accidents happen: Causes and effects of road design defects
Most truck accidents are caused by negligent drivers. Many truck drivers speed, drive while intoxicated, drive while fatigued, or drive distracted. Defective truck parts such as bad brakes, and defective tires can cause fatal and catastrophic truck accidents.
The number one cause of truck accidents is driver error
Driver error is the leading cause of accidents involving all types of vehicles, including trucks. Drivers make mistakes because they are not well-trained and are not sufficiently experienced. According to a 2016 Global Truck Crash Frequency Survey, driver errors are the leading cause of fatal truck accidents. Findings from a 2011 survey of over 2,500 US truck drivers revealed that 38% of truckers claimed they were involved in at least one accident due to “driving mistakes,” and more than half of them had crashed at least once in the previous year. 1. Improper Lane Usage Poor lane usage is a major cause of accidents. Too often, truckers drive down the wrong side of the road and make lane changes without looking at the road’s end.
Causes and effects of truck accidents
They occur when the driver and/or vehicle fail to negotiate turns properly or operate safely. Truck accidents are also caused by improper loading of a vehicle. Police officer Louis Minervino noted that drivers of vehicles over 45 years old are more prone to road accidents because they have not adapted to changing traffic patterns. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have come up with ways to prevent and reduce the number of fatal crashes caused by bad design of trucks. The IIHS estimate that since 2003, 3,780 people have died in 14,937 crashes and 7,030 people have been seriously injured as a result of design defects in commercial trucks. Vehicle design that results in the risks of accidents such as these should be avoided at all costs.
What to do to prevent truck accidents
When you are planning your daily travel route, consider the traffic conditions, the weather, and any hazardous road conditions. For example, bad weather and steep, slick roads can slow down or completely stop the truck. If you don’t know the route, pick an alternate route that is short and allows you to safely pass. Also, make sure that the truck is in good working condition. Look for cracks in the sides and rear of the truck. This may be caused by slipping in the mud, sliding out of control, or a tire getting a flat. The safety of your truck, of others in the truck, and yourself is worth the extra time to replace the truck parts or the tire.
Most accidents that involve trucks happen on the nation’s interstate highways. While drivers can reduce the risk of being involved in a fatal accident by following the rules of the road, there are still problems that need to be addressed. Ways to Reduce Your Truck Accident Risk Learn more about road safety for large trucks.
Story by Jacob Biby. Biby was born and raised in Oklahoma. He completed his undergraduate degree at Oklahoma State University and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa in 2008. Jacob is licensed to practice in all Oklahoma state and federal courts.