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Common Causes of Truck Traffic Collisions

Sharing the road with large trucks in Missouri, such as heavy rigs and delivery trucks, are quite the hazard to smaller cars and their passengers. 

Truck drivers must be conscious of the hazards caused by their bulky trucks. Also, drivers must use extreme caution in their presence. Minor mistakes, such as neglecting to signal before changing lanes, can lead to disaster, especially at high speeds.

More than 7 in 10 people killed in large truck collisions on American roadways were passengers in other vehicles, not the giant truck. While there is no doubting that these multi-ton rigs are required to keep contemporary civilization going, it is clear that they have the potential to be highly harmful.

The following are some frequent scenarios that might lead to or contribute to commercial vehicle accidents.

Passenger Vehicle Drivers Involved in Truck Accidents

Passenger car drivers are frequently blamed for traffic incidents involving big rigs or other significant corporate trucks. However, the most prevalent mistake vehicle drivers make in crashes with heavy trucks is ignorance of a truck’s speed, size, and braking capacity.

The following are examples of risky everyday activities done by vehicle drivers in the presence of huge trucks, which frequently result in truck accidents:

  • Driving in “No-Zones,” or locations behind and next to a commercial vehicle when the driver has limited or no vision.
  • Switching lanes in front of a truck.
  • Driving on the right side of a truck making a right turn.
  • At a junction, misjudging the speed of an incoming truck and turning left in front of it.
  • Inadequately merging into traffic, prompting a truck to maneuver or halt fast.
  • Failure to slow down or accelerate as a truck starts changing lanes or merging.
  • Unsafe passing, especially with inadequate headway.
  • Overtaking a truck without considering the possibility of being blown out of place by air turbulence or a cross-wind.
  • Cutting into traffic from the roadside in front of a vehicle without fully accelerating.
  • Driving between big rigs.
  • Failure to get a disabled vehicle off the roadway and onto the shoulder or abandoning a car in a travel lane.

Commercial Truck Drivers Are at Fault for Truck Accidents

Most importantly, big rig and other corporate truck drivers are professional and patient. However, in addition to the risks inherent in the size and weight of commercial transportation and shipping vehicles, other factors can contribute to traffic accidents. These are some examples:

  • Inadequate driving skill, safety issues, and defensive driving instruction.
  • Compensation systems encourage greater vehicle speeds and more extended periods of continuous vehicle operation than is generally recommended.
  • Trucking businesses’ unrealistic timelines and expectations urge drivers to rush, despite the safety dangers.

7 Types of Truck Accidents

Truck crashes are a significant issue across the globe. And the only way to reduce these accidents is to focus on the problems. So here’s a list of 7 truck accidents you need to know about.

1. Truck Rollovers

A truck rollover is one of the most devastating and horrifying accidents. This is because the center of gravity of tractor-trailers and other big commercial trucks is substantially higher than typical passenger automobiles. As a result, truck drivers must use extreme caution when navigating tight corners or making unexpected swerves.

If drivers make abrupt bends or drive too quickly, the trailer may flip and roll the entire vehicle onto one side, causing a terrible and fatal hazard to everyone on the road.

In certain circumstances, rollover accidents result from truck drivers acting recklessly or carelessly, speeding, driving tired, or driving under the influence of intoxicants. In other cases, a truck rollover disaster might occur even when truck drivers operate safely and responsibly.

A trailer, for example, that has been overloaded or poorly loaded by a cargo crew may wobble dangerously as it enters a curve. In addition, many rollover incidents occur due to tire blowouts resulting from faulty tire care, design, or manufacturing flaws.

2. Collisions at High Speed

Drivers who are irresponsible, negligent, or suddenly lose control of their vehicles may drift out of their lane and into oncoming traffic. In addition, head-on crashes can occur when cars fail to obey the correct right-of-way at red lights, stop signs or other junctions.

For various causes, a truck may hit head-on with another vehicle. The truck driver may feel tired from working long hours to reach quotas and drift into opposing lanes when they feel tired. Operators may also be influenced by alcohol or illicit substances while driving. They may mentally collapse due to heavy OTC stimulant usage and inadvertently drift toward oncoming traffic.

Tire failures, which frequently cause rollovers, can also cause drivers to lose control and veer abruptly into other lanes, increasing the probability of a head-on collision.

3. Collisions in the rear

The considerable size and weight discrepancy between a big commercial vehicle and a standard vehicle can easily result in rear-end truck collisions smashing passenger automobiles. Furthermore, because tractor-trailers are heavy and sluggish to control, truck drivers require far more time and space to slow down, avoid road hazards, or come to a safe halt behind other automobiles.

Inattentive truck drivers, speeding, or tailgating can cause deadly rear-end collisions with other cars. Driver weariness and impaired driving are also significant causes of rear-end collisions. 

Inexperienced truck drivers – or those in a rush – who fail to adhere to the FMCSA-recommended following distances also pose a risk since they do not allow themselves the time and space to slow down.

4. T-Bone Incidents

T-bone collisions are the most common near junctions, also known as side-impact or broadside collisions. Tractor-trailers and other heavy vehicles going at perpendicular angles at intersections may run red lights, not follow the stop signs, or otherwise violate the proper right-of-way, resulting in a “T” shape collision with the sides of other automobiles.

These collisions are hazardous for drivers or passengers on the side of the vehicle that absorbs the shock of a T-bone crash. In addition, truck drivers who are fast, inattentive, tired, or drunk may dash through intersections unlawfully, resulting in T-bone collisions. 

This type of collision can also occur when a truck driver makes a wrong turn across one or more traffic lanes, forcing other cars to collide.

5. Sideswipe collisions

A sideswipe trucking collision is similar to a T-bone crash; apart from that, automobiles involved in sideswipe accidents usually move in the same direction when they meet. 

Sideswipe collisions between trucks and passenger vehicles often occur when commercial drivers fail to thoroughly inspect their numerous blind zones before lane changes or merging into traffic.

Truck drivers may also lose control of their trucks due to tire blowouts, road impediments, high winds, or other adverse weather. In addition, distracted, drunk, drugged, or exhausted drivers may also lose attention on the road and collide with automobiles in neighboring lanes.

These collisions are especially deadly since a sideswiped vehicle may be propelled sideways into other lanes of parallel traffic, resulting in multi-vehicle accidents.

6. Jackknife Collisions

When big vehicles with articulating joints between the tractor and its attached trailer make poor turns or brakes, the ensuing force causes the truck to swing wide around its pivot point, resembling a folding jackknife. 

This sort of collision is particularly hazardous owing to the unpredictability of a sliding trailer, which may collide with neighboring cars and drag them along as the truck demolishes its way through traffic.

Truck drivers braking incorrectly are the most prevalent cause of jackknife incidents. When truck drivers hit the brakes too soon or too hard in bad weather, the tractor may slow down quicker than the trailer. The trailer may fishtail. The trailer’s back end may slip out to one side, resulting in a jackknife.

Taking turns too rapidly might result in similar outcomes. Even if a jackknifed trailer avoids colliding with other cars before coming to a halt, approaching traffic may still hit the next road barrier, resulting in multi-car pileups.

Right-hand turns are often narrower than left-hand turns, So truck drivers must exercise extreme caution when performing these maneuvers. For example, to escape the “right turn squeeze” that happens when trailers do not have enough space to execute correct right turns. 

Truck drivers may often attempt to make right-hand turns by swinging their cabs wide to the left and looping into a right-hand turn. 

However, this creates a hazardous scenario for vehicles in adjacent lanes, which may collide with the trailer or become trapped underneath the truck when it swings left.

Instead of turning left, the FMCSA advises truck drivers to proceed straight through to the outermost lane of the road onto which they’re driving, then complete the turn by turning right into the nearest available street. This maneuver still needs drivers to evaluate how much time and clearance they have correctly, but it is significantly safer in general. 

Truck drivers who disregard this safety advice or make risky wide maneuvers because they are unfocused, tired, or drunk may cause severe injuries in wide turn incidents with other vehicles.

Wrapping It Up

In recent years, several safeguards have been implemented to decrease truck collisions involving other vehicles on the road. Because of these efforts, there has been a decrease in the number of severe truck accidents. However, truck traffic collisions still happen daily, and understanding how to prevent them is vital.

We hope you enjoyed our article about the common causes of truck traffic collisions. In the trucking industry, it’s essential to be aware of the causes of crashes and how to prevent them. So no matter what you do, ensure you are always safe and aware of your surroundings.

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