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On behalf of Mike Breen May 30, 2017

A study conducted in collaboration between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration some years back sought to make sense of why serious crashes involving large trucks like tractor trailers occur. They studied more than 120,000 accidents during a two year period in an effort to try to derive certain insight as to the roots of these crashes.

With any type of motor vehicle wreck, driver fatigue, alcohol consumption, and speeding are seen as having a large impact on car crashes no matter whether they resulted in fatalities or not. However, when it comes to large trucks, there are additional factors that contribute to fatal trucking accidents.

Researchers found that at least 32 percent of all trucking accidents involved the driver leaving their own lane and either entering someone else’s or leaving the roadway altogether.

Truckers not adjusting their speed to account for changing road or weather conditions or traffic patterns was shown to have the potential of not only giving way to cargo shift, but resulting in comprehensive system failure. This was found by researchers to account for more than 29 percent of all fatal truck crashes.

Following too close to cars in front of them is another reason for trucker’s involvement in collisions. In fact, it’s seen as being a factor in at least 22 percent of all truck crashes.

Researchers also found that the following human factors increased the risk of fatal truck crashes: driver drowsiness or fatigue, sudden medical ailments, distracted driving, misjudgments of distance, driver overcompensation, poor directional acuity, and driver anxiety. Among the top ten reasons for trucking accidents, the use of both prescription and over-the-counter drugs was found to play a large role. Drunk driving did not rank among those.

Large truck drivers are subject to special training and record keeping procedures under both state and federal law. Although these were implemented in an attempt to reduce the potential that they’ll become involved in crashes of any sort, incidents do occur. When they do, victims might find that the advice of a truck collision attorney can help them make better sense of their rights in their legal matter.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “The large truck crash causation study,” accessed May 26, 2017