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Reviewing the most common causes of truck accidents

The large semi-trucks and tractor-trailers people see driving in and around Marion County can present a real risk to the other vehicles on the roads around them. As a matter of fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that as recently as 2012, almost 108,000 people were either killed or injured in accidents involving these vehicles. Because of the massive size of their vehicles, truck drivers must be extremely attentive at all times in order to avoid trouble on the road. Indeed, when collisions with other vehicles do occur, driver error is often found to be the cause. Let’s look at the most common causes of truck accidents.

A 2007 study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration took a closer look at truck accident statistics from 2001 to 2003 to determine the main causes of truck accidents. Of the accidents included in the study, over 55 percent were determined to have been caused by the large trucks involved. Of those particular events, a whopping 87 percent were due to driver error.

Taking a closer look at the errors attributed to the drivers in these accidents shows that most were completely avoidable. Among the most common were:

  •          Driving too fast for the given conditions
  •          Following too closely behind other vehicles
  •          Inattentiveness and distractions
  •          Falling asleep at the wheel

Surprisingly, issues related to the drivers’ abilities to adequately control their vehicles ranked among the lowest in terms of causes of accidents.

While the cause of truck accidents may vary, and while certainly no truck driver ever wants to cause an accident that results in fatalities or injuries, the information shared in this study seems to show driver error to be the single greatest contributor to truck accidents, on average. This information could serve to influence those considering legal action following such an event.

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