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Common reasons why large truck crashes occur

The large trucks that criss-cross the country, carrying freight along U.S. roads remain a regular sight for drivers. They know that companies and markets rely on their cargo to keep economy chugging. But these drivers also should know the potential dangers that can happen when driving near one.

When an 18-wheeler collides with a much smaller passenger car, the outcome usually never favors the latter. Many reasons exist as to why a large truck accident occurs. Drivers need to be aware of them.

Driving too fast for conditions

A study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration determined the most common reasons why large truck accidents occur. Here are some of them:

  • Problems with brakes: Whether defective or poorly maintained, improperly working brakes may lead to a runaway large truck and a serious collision.
  • Traffic flow disruption: Peak traffic hours or roadwork may lead to congestion. Crashes may occur because truck drivers are driving too fast, distracted or not paying attention.
  • Legal drug use: Like members of the public, some truck drivers may rely on prescription and over-the-counter medication for a variety of ailments. These drugs may lead to drowsiness and affect judgment.
  • Driving too fast for conditions: When road conditions are poor, care and caution are necessary. Visibility also is likely. And with wet, slick roads, drivers may have difficulty maintaining control of the vehicle.
  • Unfamiliar with roadways: Truck drivers travel to many parts of the country and on many different roads. Lack of road familiarity can lead to tragedy.
  • Failing to properly survey the road: Drivers have blind spots and must check them. Failing to do so may lead to collisions when making turns and lane changes.
  • Fatigue: Long hours behind the wheel may lead to tired truck drivers. Their reactions may be slowed, and they may even fall asleep.

Your awareness as to why many large truck crashes occur will benefit you. Just make sure the truck driver can see you, that you pass safely and maintain a safe distance.

Stay alert and have safe travels

Negligence among large truck drivers and their employers is, sometimes, at the root of crashes involving these colossal vehicles. By remaining alert when getting near one on the road, you increase your chances for safe travels.