Truck Driver Error: The Main Cause of Most Trucking Accidents
If you're travelling this holiday season or if someone in your family is going on a road trip, be careful on our crowded highways and beltway. And watch out for those trucks.
According to a recent study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truck driver mistakes and errors are the leading cause of accidents involving big trucks, although weather, road conditions, and mechanical or maintenance issues can certainly cause devastating crashes as well.
One of the most common ways that truck drivers contribute to accidents occurs when they become very fatigued. "Highway hypnosis" can come out of nowhere on long drives - as the repetitive patterns of the road begin to lull an already tired driver to sleep.
If that wasn't bad enough, the majority of truck accidents are caused by inexcusable driver conduct - drug use. Both illegal and prescription drug use, along with alcohol, can obviously impair a truck driver's ability to drive safely. In theory, truck drivers can't take any controlled substances unless they have been prescribed by a doctor who is familiar with the driver's medical history and job assignments.
- Poor driving decisions by truck drivers can also lead to accidents, including:
- Driving too fast for road conditions
- Improperly distributing the truck's load
- Failing to watch blind spots carefully
- Depowering the front brakes to reduce wear-and-tear on the truck
- Improperly securing any attachments to the truck
Each of these errors can lead to a truck rolling over, which greatly increases the likelihood of severe injuries or fatalities. Even the slightest reduction in the reaction time of a truck driver can lead to devastating, catastrophic crashes.
So when you're on the road this holiday season, give those trucks plenty of room.