6 Common Causes Of Truck Accidents And How To Prevent Them

Truck accidents are an unfortunate event that’s getting worse day by day. While no one wants any accidents to occur, they can just happen to anyone and can put lives at risk. With that, every truck driver should always drive with precaution as a larger vehicle can cause more significant damage to itself and its surroundings.

In unfortunate events that you’ve experienced damage or injury from a truck accident, you might need to call an appropriate lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve. You can visit this recommended reading list and other online resources to learn more about what you need to do if you’re involved in a truck accident. 

To prevent accidents from happening, one must know what causes them. In this article, you’ll learn the most common causes of truck accidents and what you can do to prevent these from happening.

1. Blind Spots 

A truck is usually about four times larger than most roadgoing vehicles. With that, a truck driver might not have complete vision of what’s happening around them. In that case, truck drivers are more likely to cause an accident when trying to switch lanes or making a turn when there’s a vehicle near them that they couldn’t see.

  • How To Prevent This: While blind spots shouldn’t be an excuse to cause an accident, the best thing that you can do is to take extra precautions when driving. When making a turn or switching lanes, you should use your turn signals before your start changing lanes so the vehicles behind you will be aware of the switch.

    You should never switch lanes or make a turn without warning as there might be a vehicle behind you, which might cause an accident or, worse, cause fatal injuries.

2. Driver Fatigue

Driving a truck may impose a lot of stress and pressure on drivers. In most cases, they need to bring their cargo from point A to point B within their schedule. Sometimes their trips span days or weeks, making them sit on their trucks for extended periods at a time. You can just imagine the fatigue they undergo as they’re driving their trucks for with very few breaks in between.

Additionally, when a driver needs to transport their cargo within a week, they might not have enough time to sleep or keep their bodies well rested. With that, you can expect some truck drivers to diminished alertness, concentration, and coordination while they’re on the road due to overfatigue, and that can cause an accident.

  • How To Prevent This: The only way a driver can prevent fatigue is to avoid having second jobs apart from their driving to reserve their energy for safety. In most cases, a driving company should screen the right candidates and be responsible for the health and condition of its drivers. They should set how many hours a driver should drive within a day to ensure that they get proper sleep and rest in between.

3. Distracted Driver

While a distracted driver is more general as it can happen to anyone, it’s becoming more common among truck drivers that experience accidents. With distracted drivers, crashes and collisions are most likely to happen, harming other vehicles and passengers.

A distracted driver is someone who doesn’t have their full attention on the road as they’re too occupied with what’s happening around them. This occurs when a driver is distracted by something inside or outside the truck. Some drivers might have focused on a specific store or billboard while on the road, listened to a radio program more attentively, or talked to someone with them. With distractions, drivers can lose focus on the road, causing accidents.

  • How To Prevent This: Driving for long hours without having anything to entertain yourself with can really be boring, especially when you’re going the same routes for as long as you’ve been driving. If a driver is bored, they might want to check their phones and call someone so keep themself a bit occupied. While that may help, it can take their mind off driving, which may cause obstructions or, worse yet, accidents.

    To prevent distracted driving and boredom, you should consider setting a playlist for the entire day and playing it immediately before moving your truck. In this way, you don’t have to change it while you’re on the road. Moreover, you should keep the volume to a minimum so you could still hear what’s happening outside.

    Apart from listening to music, drivers should always focus their eyes on the road and be cautious of their surroundings. One small mistake can risk their lives and the people around them.

4. Overspeeding

Since drivers usually have a short time delivering goods from one place to another, this might force them to drive above the speed limit to keep their schedule. While that can help get their job done, overspeeding is considered reckless endangerment and one of the leading causes of truck accidents worldwide.

An overspeeding truck is far more dangerous than a regular vehicle since they weigh more (including their payload) and has a larger size. With those factors, you can anticipate a strong force of impact when they’re hitting the brakes or colliding with a different vehicle. That’s the reason why most cars try to drive away from trucks, as a single mistake can cause it to topple over and cause a massive accident.

  • How To Prevent This: How you can prevent overspeeding is basic. A driver should always be aware of their speed by looking at the speedometer once in a while. They should also try their best to stay within the limit and avoid going higher than that.

    Moreover, a company should also set a realistic timeline for their drivers about how soon they should expect a driver to deliver goods to their destination while considering the weather and traffic. In this way, drivers wouldn’t rush their deliveries, risking their lives for their work.

5. Truck Failure

As unfortunate as it sounds, no matter how careful a driver is, they’re most likely to encounter a vehicle failure without proper maintenance, which may lead to unfortunate incidents. A truck failure occurs when there’s a mechanical breakdown beyond the driver’s control, which may include the following instances:

  • Defective head and tail lights, including turn signals
  • Transmission failure 
  • Poor tires or low tire pressure
  • Deficient overall truck maintenance 
  • Unbalanced cargo 
  • Broken brakes 

With these mechanical failures, you can just imagine the horror a truck driver has to go through when they find out that there’s something faulty in the vehicle that they’re driving. Not only will it cause panic, but it can lead to terrible accidents as well, endangering the lives of the drivers and those around them.

  • How To Prevent This: The best way you can prevent truck failure from happening is to conduct regular maintenance for every vehicle that a company has on its business. Even if they’re confident that a truck will not break mid-day, having a professional check the car’s condition wouldn’t hurt.

    Ideally, there should be routine truck maintenance for the entire year to verify if the truck is safe to be on the road, especially that they’re taking long trips. Moreover, a truck driver can self-check before leaving the warehouse by checking the lights, wipers, and brakes. In this way, they can immediately report to the company if they a truck needs repair.

6. Weather

While the weather is something no driver could control, this can certainly affect the road conditions, which can cause accidents. When it’s raining hard, there’d be zero or at least limited visibility and the road would almost have no traction due to the rainwater.

Apart from precipitation, wind and fog could be a factor in truck accidents. Strong winds can cause debris to fly over the road, which can bring obstructions on the road or damage your vehicle. With heavy fog, unless you have fog lights, you’re better off, off the road while waiting for the fog to clear. With that, you need to take extra precautions to maintain safe driving.

  • How To Prevent This: Generally speaking, the weather is something no one can control or predict. Make sure to check weather forecasts and plan your routes ahead. Make sure to check local news for any road closures in case of large boulders blocking the road.

    When you’re switching lanes or making a turn, you should switch on your turn signals earlier than you should be opening them. This should give cars right behind you a decent time to prepare for your move.

    With wet roads, always drive slowly and avoid exceeding the speed limit. Road grip might be affected by heavy rainfall, and your truck’s brakes might not be able to perform as intended. So it’s always safe to choose to err on the safe side of caution when driving in extreme weather conditions.

    If you notice that other trucks are pulling over to one side, you might want to follow their lead and just wait until the weather improves until you’re confident that you can drive safely on the road again. While you might want to arrive at your destination quickly, your life is more important.  

Conclusion

Truck accidents are unfortunate. While you may want to prevent them from happening, it’s best that you know what its causes are, what you need to avoid, and what you need to do in times of accidents.

With any vehicle that you drive, always ensure that you practice safe driving and have regular car maintenance. In this way, you can save your life and the people around you.

About the Author Leroy

Leave a Comment: