7 Things Truck Drivers Do That Put Others at Risk
Every year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration compiles a report called Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts. The 2013 report, the latest published information, shows the total number of injury accidents involving large trucks is dropping. Unfortunately, the number of fatal accidents is holding steady.
There is much room for improvement when it comes to preventing these accidents, most of which involve correcting driver errors.
Top 7 Truck Driver Errors
According to the FMCSA study, the following is the list of the top seven truck driver-related driving errors that led to injuries and fatalities in 2013:
- Speeding. Speeding continues to be the top-listed driver-related factor in accidents involving large trucks. While truckers may have multiple reasons as to why they speed—being paid by the mile or having strict timeframes in which to deliver goods—there is no proper excuse for this.
- Distracted driving. This was the second highest cause of trucking accidents in 2013. Distractions include talking on cell phones or CB radios, eating and conversing with passengers.
- Vision obstructions. The inability to see clearly, whether due to road design, the weather or other vehicles, ranked number three in the list of causes of trucking accidents. The thing here is, if the driver couldn’t see properly, they should have waited for the obstruction to pass.
- Failure to yield right of way. This is a common accident cause amongst all drivers. For truck drivers, it appears this failure stems most often from not slowing down enough or not seeing the other car. Whatever the cause, this has led to high percentage of injuries and deaths.
- Failure to drive in between the lines. Staying in the lanes is a bit more challenging for truck drivers due to the size of the vehicles they are driving. This is exactly why they have so many hours of training they must complete before going out on their own. Failure to stay in the lanes, whether due to inexperience, fatigue or basic inattention, can cause a direct accident with another vehicle, or can cause other drivers to swerve and get into accidents with other vehicles or property.
- Impaired driving. This category includes factors such as fatigue, alcohol, drugs and illness. Driving a large vehicle, often with a trailer full of heavy items, requires drivers to be awake and alert. Driving while tired or driving while intoxicated limits a driver’s ability to think clearly and react in a timely manner. And every second counts.
- Careless driving. The final truck driver-related error relates to careless, or reckless, driving. This can occur when drivers fail to look inside view mirrors before changing lanes or failing to use signals.
Passenger Car Drivers Can Improve, Too
While the majority of trucking accidents occur due to truck driver error, a large percentage of accidents actually occur due to other drivers on the road. You can help limit the number of these accidents by learning how to share the road properly. Read some great tips and tricks in other articles from our blog. Or give us a call here at The Law Offices of Daniel J. Brazil—we’d be happy to speak with you about any truck accident concerns you may have.
Source: Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2013, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration