According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, North Carolina residents reported over 16,000 truck crashes in 2021. Commercial truck accidents can have devastating consequences due to the size and weight of the vehicles involved. Unfortunately, these accidents happen all too often.
Understanding the most common causes of these accidents can go a long way in preventing them and ensuring safety on the road.
1. Driver fatigue
One of the leading causes of commercial truck accidents is driver fatigue. Long hours on the road without sufficient rest can impair a driver’s ability to respond to changes in the road or traffic conditions. Federal regulations limit how long truck drivers can be on the road, but these rules sometimes get overlooked, leading to accidents caused by tired drivers.
2. Improperly loaded cargo
Improperly loaded cargo is another significant cause of truck accidents. If a truck’s cargo is not properly secured or balanced, it can cause the truck to tip over or the driver to lose control, particularly when making turns or abrupt stops.
Speeding is a common cause of all types of vehicle accidents, and commercial trucks are no exception. Because of their size and weight, commercial trucks need more time and distance to stop than smaller vehicles. Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to stop or maneuver the truck safely in time to avoid a collision.
4. Aggressive driving
Aggressive driving, which can include actions such as tailgating, changing lanes without signaling and disregarding traffic signs, is another common cause of accidents. These behaviors can lead to collisions with other vehicles on the road.
5. Distracted driving
Finally, distracted driving is a major cause of truck accidents. Whether it is texting, eating or using a navigation system, any activity that takes a driver’s attention off the road can lead to a serious accident.
Awareness of these common causes can help in taking proactive measures to ensure safety for everyone.