Top Causes of Truck Accidents

Commercial vehicle accidents are, unfortunately, a common occurrence. In 2014, there were a reported 379,000 accidents involving a commercial vehicle that caused property damage.

Between 2001 and 2003, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a study to determine the major causes of truck accidents. During the period of the study, they looked at 120,000 large truck crashes, each involving at least one large truck (over 10,000 pounds) and resulting in one fatality or injury.

The driver of the truck caused an overwhelming percentage of the accidents, with 87% of the accidents related to driver non-performance, recognition, decision or performance.

Breakdown of Truck Accident Causes

The Large Truck Causation Study segmented variables for accidents into Critical Events, Critical Reasons and Associated Factors.

Critical Events are described in the study as the action or event that puts the vehicle on a course making the collision unavoidable. The three major critical events for truck accidents are:

  • 32% caused by running out of the travel lane
  • 29% caused by vehicle loss of control
  • 22% caused by colliding with the rear end of another vehicle

Critical Reasons are described as the immediate reason for the critical event. The main causations for critical events in truck accidents are:

  • 87% caused by driver
  • 10% caused by vehicle
  • 3 % caused by environment

Lastly, Associated Factors are the person, vehicle and environmental conditions present at the time of the crash. These are the top ten associated factors in truck accidents:

  • Vehicle: Brake problems
  • Driver: Traffic flow interruption (congestion, previous crash)
  • Driver: Traveling too fast for conditions
  • Driver: Prescription drug use
  • Driver: Unfamiliarity with roadway
  • Environment: Roadway problems
  • Driver: Required to stop before crash (traffic control device, crosswalk)
  • Driver: Over-the-counter drug use
  • Driver: Inadequate surveillance
  • Driver: Fatigue

Have you been involved in an accident caused by a commercial vehicle? Discuss the situation with a Conway truck accident lawyer. Because of the many causes and variables in truck accidents, an experienced truck accident attorney can offer indispensable guidance.

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