The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a report regarding the causation of large truck accidents. The report is based on 963 crashes in a sample taken from 17 states. The data was collected over a 33-month period during which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates as many as 120,000 large truck accidents occurred that included injuries or fatalities.
The FMCSA identified three critical events that related to a majority of the fatal accidents it studied. According to the data, 32 percent of the accidents involved leaving the lane of travel. That meant a vehicle traveled into a ditch on the side of the road or into another lane of traffic. The two other events were losing control due or hitting the rear of another vehicle. Vehicle control loss was usually due to factors such as a cargo shift, traveling at a rate of speed not appropriate with road conditions or generally poor conditions on the road.
Each of the events were also coded with reasons for the event. The FMCSA coded them into four major categories: non-performance, recognition, decision and performance. Non-performance meant that the driver did not perform at all because he or she was asleep or impaired physically, such as by having a heart attack at the wheel. Recognition meant the driver was distracted or otherwise failed to make an observation about the situation. Decision meant the driver misjudged something, such as the location of another vehicle or the speed at which it would be safe to travel on the road. Performance related to the driver’s actions; he or she might have over corrected, panicked or showed poor control.
Other factors regarding accidents were environmental. They included faulty or failing equipment an road problems. While it helps to understand common causes for large truck accidents to better educate drivers about safety, it doesn’t stop all these accidents from occurring. If you or a loved one are injured in an accident caused by the action — or inaction — of a large truck driver or company, then you might have success seeking monetary compensation for your losses.
Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “The Large Truck Crash Causation Study – Analysis Brief,” accessed Sep. 22, 2015