3 of the top causes of semi-truck crashes

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Semitruck & 18-wheeler Accident Injuries |

Harm reduction practices involve identifying risk factors and engaging in behavior that reduces someone’s chances of a negative situation. For drivers, harm reduction often entails becoming more aware of what might compromise their safety in traffic and acting assertively to limit those risk factors.

Few people would argue about the claim that semi-trucks are capable of causing the absolute worst crashes on the road. Smaller vehicles do not stand a chance when struck by commercial vehicles that weigh multiple times what they do.

If drivers only try actively to avoid one type of crash, trying to minimize the risk of a semi-truck crash could be the best decision possible. Knowing what causes those crashes can help people more effectively limit their risk. The following are the top causes of semi-truck collisions.

Mistakes by those in smaller vehicles

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) analyzed thousands of semi-truck collisions to better understand these crashes. What they found was that slightly less than half of those collisions were caused by people in smaller vehicles. The most common mistakes included driving in the blind spots around commercial trucks, merging or turning too close in front of them or failing to leave them adequate space at intersections. Drivers who are aware of the proximity of semi-trucks and who adjust their behavior accordingly could avoid causing collisions that could alter their lives forever.

Mistakes by commercial drivers

When looking at the reason for collisions caused by semi-trucks, the top concerns relate to driver performance. Approximately 38% of those collisions involved a driver making the wrong decision, while another 28% involved drivers failing to recognize concerns in traffic. Roughly two-thirds of the collisions were caused by mistakes or omissions by a commercial driver. Another 12% of crashes involved non-performance. Some of those crashes involve drivers falling asleep at the wheel, while others involve medical emergencies. Some non-performance collisions are within the control of truck drivers, but others are clearly not.

Vehicle issues

One in 10 collisions caused by semi-trucks is the result of something wrong with the vehicle. Improper maintenance and delayed repairs might lead to a driver losing control and causing a crash while in control of a semi-truck.

Those involved in semi-truck collisions may have a complex insurance claim ahead or might even need to file a lawsuit. Learning about what causes semi-truck crashes can help people protect themselves and feel empowered to act after a collision. Those who can identify what may have caused a collision may feel more comfortable demanding accountability from the other parties involved.