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The top 3 reasons commercial drivers cause crashes

Any motor vehicle collision could cause life-altering injuries, but commercial vehicle crashes are particularly dangerous. When a passenger vehicle collides with an 18-wheeler or other commercial truck, the smaller vehicle and its occupants will likely suffer the brunt of the damage in the collision.

Sometimes, commercial crashes are the result of bad vehicle maintenance or a mistake made by the people in the smaller vehicle. However, commercial drivers are often the ones at fault for these crashes. What are the most common reasons that commercial drivers cause crashes?

They make bad decisions

Of all of the collisions where the large truck is at fault for the wreck, 87% of the time, it will be the driver of the commercial truck that ultimately causes the crash. Making the wrong decision for the situation is the most common mistake made by truckers.

For example, they might choose to drive more quickly than they should given the road conditions. They may also decide to get too close to other vehicles on the road. Making the wrong decision was responsible for 38% of collisions caused by 18-wheelers. 

They didn’t pay adequate attention

The second most common trucker issue that causes crashes is a recognition error. Recognition mistakes lead to another 28% of commercial truck crashes caused by the bigger vehicle. It takes longer for big vehicles to stop or perform other maneuvers, so careful attention is safety-critical for commercial drivers.

Commercial drivers need to constantly monitor the road around them and check their mirrors for vehicles in their blind spots. Whether they tried to look at a crash that occurred ahead of them or stared down at their phone to text a family member, a trucker failing to properly monitor the traffic conditions around them can easily lead to a crash.

They were suddenly unable to perform their job

Non-performance rounds out the top three ways that commercial drivers cause crashes. Non-performance might involve a trucker falling asleep at the wheel. It also occurs when they experience a medical event like a heart attack or stroke that prevents them from maintaining control over their vehicle. Non-performance issues cause another 12% of commercial crashes.

Realizing that truckers make the same mistakes as other drivers can help you take the right steps after a commercial vehicle crash.

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