Large and unwieldy vehicles such as tractor-trailers and big rigs can threaten smaller vehicles and their passengers. Truck accidents are much more severe than car accidents because trucks carry large loads and are much harder to control when sudden issues occur.
Most Common Reasons Truck Accidents Happen
Truck accidents might happen for very different reasons. Very often accidents occur due to careless or reckless actions of truckers. Defective vehicles are also a frequent cause. However, car drivers that don’t pay enough attention to the road and follow semi-trucks too closely can also be a starting point for an accident.
Aggressive Driving and Speeding
Speeding is very dangerous for trucks because it takes more time to slow down or change a direction due to their size. A good thing is that most trucking companies have speed trackers or speed limiters that control vehicle speed to prevent drivers from over speed driving.
Drivers who speed are very often referred to as aggressive drivers as well. Truck drivers are frequently under stress to make it on time and traffic jams usually occur when least expected. These are the situations when truck drivers react inappropriately to stressful conditions. Some common forms of aggressive driving are tailgating, coming too close to a vehicle in front, cutting off another vehicle on purpose, etc. All of this road rage can cause serious and fatal consequences.
Weather and Road Conditions
Fog is the number one reason as far as weather-caused accidents are concerned because perception is reduced due to the thickness of the fog. Due to low contrast, it is very challenging to make a difference between light and dark. Driving conditions change with the seasons but it is essential to adapt your driving to adverse weather, no matter if it is summer or winter. Many people do not understand how driving in the rain can be dangerous. It impacts both drivers around you and the road, making it slippery. Visibility is also reduced and accidents are very frequent. Driving in snow is a bit more problematic and challenging because many truck drivers are not quite sure about the way their driving should be adapted to poor road conditions. During winter, tire pressure goes down and it can additionally cause skidding.
The first thing you need to do is to keep your driving speed at 35 mph or slower so you’ll have enough time to react to tailgaters or any traffic slow down or stop. Driving with both hands on the wheel can make driving significantly easier and safer. Don’t forget to avoid anything that can distract you attention so if you need to use your phone, make sure it is a hands-free one. Maintaining a safe distance from a vehicle in front of you is crucial for being able to brake when needed while not losing control of your truck.
Flipping or collision with other vehicles on dry roads is most often caused by road construction. Drivers usually try to maneuver around the construction without following the recommendations which can cause an accident, often with fatal outcomes. Attention road signs are placed before the actual construction zone in order to give a warning to the drivers. Never neglect those signs. Instead, reduce your speed first and then pay attention to any possible obstacles.
Overload cargo poses a huge risk of causing an accident. Exceeded limit of cargo weight causes the tires to overheat, be less stable and difficult to steer. It’s not only that an overloaded vehicle can’t accelerate as normal, but it also can’t slow down or stop as usual. It requires much more time which increases the chance of an accident. It mainly happens because brakes overheat and lose effectiveness due to their “harder word”.
Needless to say that any type of vehicle accident is dangerous and can be fatal. Nevertheless, the risk of fatality increases drastically when a truck is involved. It’s nice to glide over a nice and straight road and make it on time but overlooking road signs, not adapting your driving to the weather and road conditions, showing aggressive behavior in traffic and speeding can take away someone’s life. Before you sit behind the wheel, be prepared that there might be traffic jams or any other unwanted situations that should be addressed properly.