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What are the top reasons semi-truck operators cause crashes?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

The professionals who operating commercial trucks have more training than the average driver. There are numerous requirements to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL), including an obligation to undergo regular medical evaluations.

Commercial drivers are also subject to stricter driving rules. Lower speed limits, restrictions on how long they can drive and federal no-text rules all apply to commercial drivers but not those operating passenger vehicles. Despite the safety precautions in place, semi-trucks still cause many of the worst crashes that occur each year.

Thousands of people die and many others develop permanent injuries because of a collision with a semi-truck. Motorists who understand the causes of such crashes may find it easier to drive safely around 18-wheelers. What do the statistics show are the most likely causes of semi-truck crashes?

Drivers making the wrong decision

According to an analysis of the crashes caused by semi-trucks, the top issue is the driver making the wrong choice. Drivers making the wrong decisions could lose control of their vehicles or may be unable to respond appropriately to changing traffic conditions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recognizes that almost two-fifths of the crashes caused by semi-trucks are the results of the driver failing to leave enough space or traveling at inappropriate speeds given road conditions.

Drivers not paying proper attention

The second leading cause of semi-truck crashes is the failure to properly monitor the road. Distraction can be an underlying cause of some of these crashes. A driver eating a meal or talking to family members on the phone might not properly monitor their surroundings. The failure to notice issues in traffic could lead to preventable crashes that have tragic consequences for other people.

Drivers becoming unable to work

The third leading cause of semi-truck crashes caused by commercial trucks is driver non-performance. Some of these cases involve a driver falling asleep due to extreme fatigue. Other times, they may experience a medical emergency that leaves them incapable of maintaining control over the vehicle. Allergic reactions, cardiac events and other sudden medical emergencies can render someone incapable of driving and could potentially cause a crash. Additional common issues that contribute to crash risk include performance issues on the part of the driver and issues with the vehicle itself.

Depending on the underlying cause of a semi-truck crash, the people affected may have the option of filing an insurance claim or possibly even a lawsuit. Holding the right parties accountable can reduce the negative economic impact a crash has on the people not at fault for a wreck.