Motor vehicle collisions claim the lives of thousands of people every month, but certain crashes are far more likely to cause severe or deadly injuries than others. For example, collisions that involve a smaller passenger vehicle and a massive commercial vehicle can often result in terrifying property damage and life-altering injuries for the people in the smaller vehicle.
There are certain things that you can do to keep yourself safe when driving with the big trucks that move the modern American economy. Choosing not to drive in their blind spots and trying not to merge two close in front of them are good steps to limit your risk. However, you should also be aware that the majority of crashes involving commercial trucks involve some degree of fault on the part of the bigger vehicle.
According to federal data, trucks cause a lot of crashes
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration works to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and deaths stemming from commercial vehicles on public roads each year. Part of that work involves gathering data and analyzing it to find patterns. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study found that commercial vehicles are directly responsible for many of the crashes they get into on the road.
Approximately 55% of crashes involving large trucks involve fault on the part of the commercial vehicle or its driver. In those crashes, the vehicle was the cause of the crash 10% of the time, while environmental factors played a significant role in 3% of crashes. The remaining 87% involved issues with the driver.
What mistakes do commercial drivers make on the road?
Most of those crashes, around 38%, were the result of a driver making a bad decision, like speeding or driving too close to other vehicles. Recognition, which involves monitoring and responding to road conditions, played a factor in 28% of the crashes, while non-performance due to falling asleep or medical events caused about 12% of the crashes. Performance issues, such as failing to act in a timely manner, panicking or turning too sharply, played a role in another 9% of the commercial crashes.
Regardless of what actually causes the crash, if the trucker is the one responsible, you may have grounds to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit or an insurance claim depending on the circumstances.