It can be a very scary experience when you have to drive near to a big truck on public roads. For some unfortunate people, sharing the roads can lead to collisions that produce massive amounts of property damage and potentially life-altering injuries.
Obviously, you would like to stay safe on the road, and part of that involves avoiding crashes with big trucks that could potentially demolish your vehicle. When you know the top three reasons that big trucks cause crashes, that can make it easier for you to watch for warning signs while in mixed traffic.
Leaving the lane of traffic is the number one critical mistake
According to an analysis of statistics gathered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 32% of crashes caused by commercial truckers, the critical event that led to the crash involved the trucker making a faulty maneuver and moving out of their lane of traffic, either into another lane of traffic or off the road itself.
It is all too easy for commercial drivers to lose control of their vehicles
Big trucks take a lot more effort to keep under control, especially in difficult driving scenarios. They are heavier and longer, which means it is harder for the driver to monitor the road around them, safely maneuver and bring the vehicle to a stop. In roughly 29% of crashes where the trucker was ultimately responsible for the outcome, it was a loss of control of the vehicle that directly resulted in the crash.
Rear-end collisions are dangerous with big trucks
The third most common cause of a crash involving a big commercial truck is a rear-end collision where the commercial truck strikes the back end of another vehicle in front of it, which accounts for another 22% of crashes.
In some cases, this kind of crash occurs because the trucker did not maintain adequate space between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them. They may also have failed to pay attention and didn’t notice that other vehicles had applied their brakes in time. These accidents can even occur because people in passenger vehicles merge far too close in front of the commercial vehicle they want to pass, forcing the trucker to slam on their brakes in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid a collision.
Once you understand that these three causes all involve drivers in close proximity to commercial vehicles, it becomes obvious that giving a wide berth to commercial trucks can help you avoid collisions.