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Nine Most Common Truck Accident Causes and Their Prevention Tips

You should also avoid any illegal drugs as this can cause serious issues while driving a large truck

Monday July 8, 2019 8:26 PM, ummid.com News Network

Truck Accident Causes

Many people across the United States and the world drive a truck for a living. It is an honest and great way for people to support their families. Plus, there are always lots of openings for jobs. However, driving these big trucks are going to put people at risk for an accident if they are not careful.

Driving a big semi-truck is more dangerous than driving another vehicle. This is for many reasons. If you were to hit another car with semi the person in the car is at serious risk of death or serious injury. Plus, rolling a large truck like this is going to be a serious cause for concern. In addition, it’s simply a larger, slower vehicle. It’s tougher to turn, stop, and avoid any potential obstacles. Not to mention, there are ways that you can prevent accidents as well.

Common Reasons Accidents Occur

You should be aware that when driving a truck you are at risk for an accident while trucking. This is especially true if you are not aware of your surroundings or being careful. We are now going to take a look at the top reasons semi-drivers or truck drivers get into accidents. Later on, we will look at ways to prevent these things from happening.

1. Drug Use

The most common reason a person was to be involved in a trucking accident is the use of drugs. In fact, 26 percent of crashes that are reported involve illegal drugs or prescription drugs. Keep in mind that it is not illegal to use prescription drugs while driving a truck. However, you should see how they affect you first before driving with them. Plus, you should always make sure that the drug you are taking was prescribed by your doctor specifically for you and that you follow the proper dosage.

2. Speeding

The second most common reason for a trucker to get into an accident was speeding. Speeding was identified to be a factor in 23 percent of all large truck accidents. Keep in mind that your truck on average weighs 80,000 pounds. When you are doing the speed limit it is dangerous but when you are speeding your truck becomes a deadly machine.

3. Unfamiliar Roads

Many truck drivers are driving from state to state and even across the country. This is why so many crashes happen. Drivers are not familiar with their surroundings or the roads they are traveling. This is why 22 percent of all crashes are caused by a driver not knowing the area they are traveling in.

4. Over-the-Counter Medications

While we talked about prescription drugs as well as illegal drugs, we did not talk about over-the-counter drugs. These drugs are going to be a cause for 18 percent of all truck crashes. This is because some over-the-counter medications can make you sleepy or have adverse side effects. When taking a new drug, you should become familiar with how it affects your body before driving a truck or any vehicle.

5. Forgetting Training

Truck drivers have a lot of training to do before they can get behind the wheel and start their career. This training includes checking all sides of their vehicle before they make any type of maneuver or turn as well as checking all their blind spots. However, many people either forget their training or ignore their training. In fact, because of this, 14 percent of all accidents are going to be caused by a driver not checking their blind spots as they should be.

6. Fatigue

Fatigue was once considered and assumed the reason why most trucking accidents happen. However, it has now been proven number six in the cause of accidents only accounting for 13 percent of all trucking accidents. It is not as big of a problem as people once thought but it still accounts for many accidents.

7. Illegal Maneuver

It is important that truck drivers follow all traffic laws. They are there for a reason, however, many truck drivers forget or simply do not follow these laws. It is just as important if not more important that truckers follow the laws. However, with 9 percent of all accidents happening because a truck driver participated in an illegal maneuver, we know that not all drivers respect the road. This would include not using a turn signal.

8. Distracted Driving

It is common for people who are driving to become distracted. It is not something to be proud of but it happens. However, with an 80,000-pound truck, you want to be even more careful. Many truck drivers become distracted and this causes for 8 percent of all trucking crashes. Often times, truck drivers are distracted by things going on outside their vehicle. This could include roadwork or other accidents.

9. Difficult to Maneuver

Many truck drivers understand their truck and their job; however, these big trucks are hard to move around. Not to mention, these trucks make wide turns and take a while to slow down. 7 percent of all truck drivers are involved in an accident because they underestimated. This could include underestimating the time needed to stop or evade something.
Also, keep in mind that aggressive driving is also a problem. In fact, 7 percent of accidents involving truck drivers was due to aggressive driving or road rage.

Preventing Trucking Accidents

Truck drivers can avoid the accidents listed above. In fact, they can follow the steps listed below to help them become better drivers in their big vehicles.

1. Avoiding Blind Spots

As with a normal vehicle, there are going to blind spots, however, in a large, truck there are many more blind spots. As a driver, you are going to want to check these blind spots. The blind spots are the areas in which a driver cannot see you clearly and they have to turn to see you. There are mirrors that help with this but as a driver, you should always be aware of these.

If you are driving a smaller car and are around a large truck you should note that they have a hard time seeing you. This means that you are in their blind spot when you are 20 feet in front of their truck, thirty feet behind their truck, and half of their truck length on the driver's side. Use this as a reference, if you cannot see the driver in their mirrors, they are not going to see you.

2. Checking the Weather

When driving a large truck, the weather can affect how you drive. It is important that you are aware of the weather and what you are driving into. Sometimes windy conditions make it very difficult to maneuver your large vehicle. If this is the case, you may want to take your break during this time. Rain and other storms can be dangerous as well. Plan accordingly.

3. Plan Breaks

You should plan your breaks when they are needed. Always ensure that you are getting enough rest so that you can focus on your driving. Being tired causes a large portion of accidents. Plan your breaks when you are going to be most tired.

4. Get a GPS

A vast majority of semi drivers are driving somewhere they are unfamiliar with. This counts for a large portion of all accidents. It is because the roads they are traveling are not their normal terrain. You should have a GPS in your truck that you can download your routes to. This will help ensure that you are going the right speed and that you are aware of any turns or hills coming up.

5. Follow Traffic Laws

Whether you are in a small car or a large truck, you should always be following traffic laws. You should always use your turn signals and follow the speed limit. Speeding and not following laws causes a lot of accidents involving large trucks. These are the most dangerous accidents because trucks are so large. When driving you should always ensure that you are following the speed limit, keeping a safe distance from other vehicles, and always use your turn signal. This is especially important because if you are turning right you make wide turns which other drivers need to be aware of ahead of the time.

6. Medication

You should not drive your truck until you know how any medication is going to affect you. This could mean over-the-counter or prescription medication. This medication should be taken for at least a week before you are driving your truck while using it. Many medications mess with memory and can make you tired.

You should also avoid any illegal drugs as this can cause serious issues while driving a large truck.

Wrap Up

Whether you are driving the large truck or close to one, you should always be aware. Be aware of the surroundings and the other vehicles. Take it safe and slow. Don’t drive if you are intoxicated. Make sure you are well rested and not overtired. Always follow traffic laws and be courteous to other drivers.

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