A large truck weighs 20 times as much as a car, and when the two meet in an accident, injuries tend to be severe.
Factors associated with crashes of large trucks include unfamiliarity with the road and a change in traffic flow, such as sudden congestion or a sudden reduction in speed due to a crash or crosswalk ahead.
Precipitating events for truck crashes
A truck may precipitate a crash when:
- The truck leaves its lane of travel
- The truck driver loses control — because he is traveling too fast or due to a cargo shift, mechanical failure, a bad road, or other causes
- The truck driver crashes into the rear end of the vehicle in front of him
Causes of truck crashes
When a large truck is at fault in a crash, factors may include:
- Driver error — the driver was speeding, distracted, tired, breaking a traffic law, or using drugs
- Mechanical failure — tire blowouts and brake failure can cause catastrophe
- Environmental problems — fog can make vision difficult; trucks lose traction in rain or snow
Types of truck driver errors
A truck crash may be due to different types of driver errors:
- Non-response error — he was asleep or had a heart attack
- Recognition error — he was not paying attention or became distracted
- Decision error — he was driving too fast or following too close
- Performance error — he overcompensated when a wheel went off the road
A truck-car crash is often the result of multiple factors. A sudden decision to change lanes or turn in traffic can initiate disaster. Defensive driving is a motorist’s best protection.