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What is the main cause of semi-truck accidents?

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | Personal Injury

Many people become a bit nervous in traffic when they notice a semi-truck approaching rapidly. These large vehicles can cause some of the worst crashes reported on modern roads. Some of those crashes are truly accidents in the sense that no one party involved could have prevented them. They may occur due to road conditions or perhaps the unpredictable conduct of a third party in traffic.

However, the vast majority of semi-truck collisions occur due to factors that one party or the other could control. When looking at the statistics about what actually causes semi-truck crashes, certain trends begin to stand out. It is more likely than not that the semi-truck is technically to blame for the collision. In such cases, there is one factor is more likely than any others to be the underlying cause of a crash.

Semi-truck drivers can make mistakes like anyone else

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) looks into crashes between semi-trucks and other vehicles to understand the trends in such collisions. Those trends can then inform safety policies and statutes.

When looking at the crashes caused by semi-trucks, driver error is the number one cause of such collisions. Specifically, commercially licensed professional drivers often make mistakes about their conduct at the wheel. They may misjudge what speed they can safely maintain given road conditions and the local speed limit. They might make a mistake about how much space they need when completing a turn at an intersection.

Approximately 38% of all semi-truck crashes occur due to errors in a commercial driver’s judgment. It is worth noting that the second leading cause of crashes caused by semi-trucks involves recognition errors. Distraction and a failure to properly monitor surroundings cause another 28% of all semi-truck crashes.

Those involved in collisions caused by semi-trucks may have a very complex insurance claims process ahead of them. In some cases, it may be necessary to take action in civil court. People can sometimes file a lawsuit to secure appropriate compensation after a crash that could have catastrophic consequences for the people in the smaller vehicle.

Understanding the causes behind semi-truck crashes won’t necessarily help people avoid them but may help them feel more confident when taking action after a collision.