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3 risk factors that lead to commercial vehicle crashes

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

When a small passenger vehicle collides with a large commercial truck, the people in the smaller vehicle often have a bad outcome. As with any kind of collision, there are numerous factors in play that contribute to the overall risk in a situation.

Weather conditions, the level of experience each driver has and even the condition of the vehicles involved can potentially contribute to a collision. However, many of the risk factors that you face on the road are outside of your control. You can’t stop other people from merging without using their blinkers or driving after drinking.

Still, there are a few risk factors that you can identify and minimize. Drivers who know about some of the top causes of commercial trucking crashes can potentially make smarter choices to avoid that.

  1. Visibility limitation

Large trucks often have compound mirrors on the driver’s side of the cab. By adding extra mirrors at different goals, the driver or their employer goes to minimize their blind spots.

Large trucks generally have big blind spots on both sides of the trailer and directly behind the trailer. Vehicles in those blind spots could be at risk when a truck driver decides to turn, stop or merge.

  1. More momentum than passenger vehicles

Commercial trucks often way well over 10,000 pounds. They are several times heavier than even the most overloaded passenger vehicle.

They have a much longer stopping distance because of their heavier weight, which means that they can easily rear-end other vehicles when drivers merge close in front of a commercial truck or try to stop too abruptly in front of one. They are also prone to rollover and jackknife crashes caused in part by the momentum of their trailers.

  1. Overworked drivers

Those in control of commercial vehicles often spend 10 hours or more on the road during a single shift. They may work multiple days back to back with few breaks during high-demand seasons. Fatigue is a real concern for commercial drivers, as is distraction. They may use electronic devices inappropriately to stave off exhaustion or maintain their relationships with their loved ones. Some truck drivers may even use illegal drugs to help them stay awake while driving.

While you can potentially be more aware of commercial trucks in your proximity and give them more space, you obviously have no control over when they work or how they operate their vehicles. If you end up in a commercial crash despite your best efforts to avoid one, then you may have a very complex Insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit in your future. Learning about some of the most common causes of commercial truck crashes could help you stay a bit safer out on the road.