truck accidents

5 Common Causes of Truck Accidents

In Car Accident Attorney Spokane WA by Jeremy Friedland

truck accidents

Trucking can be a dangerous job. In fact, of all of the causes of premature death in the United States, the CDC found that road accidents were the third most lethal. By driving on the road professionally, you’re taking a major risk every day. 

But what are the most common causes of truck accidents, and how can they be avoided? Read on to learn what to look out for during your next shift. 

1. Bad Weather: A Common Cause of Truck Accidents

With the average trucker spending up to 70 hours on the road every week, you’ll certainly experience bad weather on one of your driving shifts. These conditions cause serious roadway consequences. 

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, “on average, there are over 5,891,000 vehicle crashes each year. Approximately 21% of these crashes – nearly 1,235,000 – are weather-related.” 

In Washington, flooding, snow, and ice causing frequent unsafe road conditions – especially during the winter seasons. Taking proper precautions before your next wintery drive can seriously save lives. 

2. Distracted Driving

With many drivers on the road, it’s hard to know which one of these drivers are paying attention. Whether you’re distracted by the radio or a nearby driver is on the phone, even these minor distractions can be deadly.

In 2018 alone, distracted driving killed 2,841 people. Be sure you keep your eyes on the road to reduce your chances of becoming one of these numbers. 

3. Other Trucks 

While it’s more common for a truck to be involved in an accident with a smaller vehicle, the majority of trucker fatalities are caused by trucker peers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that in 2018, 62% of trucker deaths were caused by accidents with other trucks. So next time you’re on the road, keep an eye out for other truckers to make sure they’re not a highway safety hazard. 

4. Exhaustion

One of the major impairments truck drivers experience is sheer exhaustion. While laws require that you take breaks between shifts, sometimes these breaks aren’t enough to make you fully rested before you get back on the road.

Getting tired while driving is all too common. According to research, 1 in 25 people claimed that they’ve fallen asleep behind the wheel within the last month. And while this certainly risks the lives of other people, many times it causes drivers to veer off the road, causing the most harm to themselves. 

In their 2018 study, the IIHS found that more truckers died in more single-car accidents than in accidents with others. Furthermore, 59% of truck accident deaths were caused in a single-vehicle accident, compared to the 45% of single-vehicle deaths amongst car drivers.

Driving long hours can clearly take a toll on us, especially if you’re a truck driver. So no matter what your work hours are looking like, be sure you’re well-rested enough to take on the road safely during your next drive. 

5. Highway Hypnosis

Even if you’re not tired, accidentally losing your focus on the road can cause major accidents. This is particularly common due to highway hypnosis, a trance-like state that we go into when we drive for too long.

This hypnosis causes thousands of trucker accidents every year. If you ever find that you’re dazing off while driving, take a well-deserved break before you start back up on the road. 

Be Safe and Be Covered

Staying safe on the road is essential. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration advises that truckers follow these rules to stay safe on the roads. 

But if an accident happens, you could get into a lawsuit that could cause you to lose money or even your trucking license. If you’ve been involved in truck accidents, you’re going to need the best law assistance you can get in the area. Contact us today to make sure you’re in good hands. 

Interested in learning more about truck and road safety? Check out our blog for more facts on how to be safe on your future journeys.