We all want to stay safe when we are out on the road. Unfortunately, that just isn’t always an option. After all, drivers are vulnerable through not only their own actions but also the driving behaviors of others on the road. One unsafe driver can cause conditions that endanger dozens of people in just one trip.
You have no way of knowing when you are going to cross paths with a dangerous driver, and some of them may pose even more danger to you than you might imagine. For people in a typical passenger vehicle, commercial vehicles present a massive threat. They are large and heavy and have trouble turning and stopping.
That means that in the event of a sudden accident or inclement weather, driving in close proximity to a commercial truck could increase your risk for a terrible accident. Understanding what typically causes trucking crashes can help you make informed decisions about reducing your risk around big trucks on the road.
Driving while tired is one of the biggest risks
An analysis of crashes across the United States by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that fatigue was one of the three leading factors for all major commercial truck crashes. If you have ever had to get behind the wheel when you felt too tired to drive, you, no doubt, understand how dangerous driving while fatigued can be.
Sadly, commercial truckers don’t have the option of not getting behind the wheel when they feel too tired to drive. If they want to bring home a paycheck, they have to get their load to its destination. Truckers can make unsafe decisions out of a desire to safeguard their income and provide for their families.
Alcohol consumption is a risk for every driver
Anyone who gets behind the wheel drunk could hurt or kill other people. When that drunk driver is in control of a gigantic commercial truck, they can do catastrophic damage with a single mistake.
Although there are federal laws in place that prohibit commercial drivers from driving after drinking and state regulations that limit their blood alcohol content as well, some commercial drivers do still drink while working. Alcohol is another of the three leading factors, and it is one of the most dangerous because it results in erratic and unsafe driving.
Driving too fast puts everyone at risk
Speeding is a factor in a large number of passenger vehicle accidents. When you consider the fact that many commercial truckers have to meet strict deadlines regarding the delivery of their goods, it shouldn’t surprise you that they sometimes resort to breaking the speed limit in order to get where they need to go.
Driving a little faster than normal means they will have a harder time controlling your vehicle, which, in turn, increases the risk of causing a crash. That is why speeding rounds out the top three causes of commercial truck crashes.
If you think that alcohol, exhaustion or speeding played a role in a crash that injured you or someone you love, you should look into your rights to hold the driver of that truck or their employer accountable for your losses.