Truck drivers go through extensive training in order to do their jobs. Getting a CDL and operating a big rig isn’t easy. Of course, truck drivers get paid to, well, drive, so they put a lot of time and effort into getting trained to drive such a large vehicle. But even the most experienced, well-trained truck driver can be involved in an accident. When truck accidents happen, it’s important to look at the cause. According to the FMCSA, the major pre-crash event that led to 73% of fatal large truck accidents was another vehicle, person, object, or animal either in the truck driver’s lane or drifting into it.
So, clearly, not all accidents involving trucks are the fault of the truck driver, and accidents are caused by many more factors than just those listed below. And some accidents can be caused by factors completely out of the control of the truck driver, such as the actions of the driver of the other vehicle. However, understanding these four causes of truck accidents can help you train your team and ensure you take steps to protect the public, your organization, and your financial standing.
4 Common Causes of Truck Accidents
While truck accidents are caused by a variety of conditions and events, from mechanical failure to weather and even negligence on the part of the drivers of other vehicles, these are four causes of truck accidents and some ways that you can take action to prevent them. Of course, you and your drivers can’t control everything out there on the road. But taking a look at these four reasons for truck accidents can help you manage your risk.
1. Poor Driver Training
The ongoing driver crisis and influx of new drivers means that less experienced truckers are hitting the road in record numbers. Drivers that take to the road too early or without in-depth training in everything from legal recordkeeping to safe driving put brands at an elevated risk of accidents. Fully training every driver in your fleet in not only operations, but legal requirements, safety, risk factors, and more can help cut your risk of accidents.
2. Poor Maintenance
Even a well-trained, careful and experienced driver will have trouble safely driving a vehicle that is not properly maintained or cared for. Tires can blow, an engine can stop at speed, and pieces can come loose, causing an accident or leaving behind debris on the road. Proper truck maintenance keeps everyone safe and ensures your cargo arrives when it is supposed to.
Phones, onboard electronics, drug use, illness, medications, and other distractions can impact the way anyone drives; they can have a devastating effect on someone piloting a vehicle as large as a big rig. While technology can help reduce some distractions, it can’t eliminate all of them, and accidents happen daily because of distracted drivers.
4. Lack of Sleep
While truck drivers have strict rules to follow regarding rests and breaks, tired drivers can and do hit the road every day. Tiredness and fatigue can lead to difficulty concentrating and slower reaction times, which make it more difficult to safely operate any vehicle, particularly a large truck.
Understanding these four causes of accidents can help you mitigate risk, prevent harm, and protect your business. A solid truck insurance policy will also help protect your brand if an accident does occur; damages can be costly and legal issues could even interrupt your flow of business if you do not have enough coverage – or the right kind of coverage.
Contact us today to talk about your needs and to ensure you are fully protected from trucking accident risk. We can help you get quotes for your trucking business – we have an entire team of truck insurance experts. Get in touch with us today by filling out our online quote form or giving us a call today.