Most Common Trucker Mistakes That Result in Accidents

Posted on March 14, 2013 · Posted in Insurance Guides

The commercial trucking industry is a huge part of our country’s economy, with 3.5 million people working as truckers today. Just like any other person working any other job, they are also prone to the occasional error. The difference is that when a trucker makes a mistake it can have deadly results. Commercial trucks are large, heavy, and can’t maneuver nearly as well as the other motor vehicles on the road around them. Even though there’s a good chance the truck driver will be okay after an accident, other drivers involved are still at risk of injury or death. Here are some of the most common trucker mistakes that result in accidents.

Drugs and Alcohol are the Leading Cause of Truck Accidents

Although drinking and driving isn’t as common for truckers as it is for regular drivers, the legal limit for truckers is half that of an average motorist. The most common cause of commercial truck accidents is drug use by the driver. Many truck drivers, especially inexperienced ones, are behind schedule and overworked, and they believe that prescription drugs will be the answer to keeping them awake. Even though they believe the drugs will make them more alert and less drowsy, the pills tend to slow down the reaction time of the driver instead, resulting in 26 percent of all trucker accidents. As stated by the NSW, the only answer to drowsiness is rest; drugs can only further impair driving.

Driving Over the Speed Limit

23 percent of the annual 130,000 commercial truck accidents are caused by drivers going over the set speed limit. When drivers are behind schedule or working a double shift, all they can think about is getting their load delivered safely and on time so that they can take a break. Speeding is a way to get there slightly faster and slightly ahead of schedule, but it comes with a deadly cost. An 80,000 pound truck has a force of impact that is dangerous enough, but every mile of speed added to the vehicle increases the force drastically, resulting in deadlier accidents.

Unfamiliar Terrain Leads to Accidents

GPS technology is great but it doesn’t compensate for the nuances of a roadway. Drivers who are unfamiliar with an area they are travelling through tend to drive slower and more carefully, knowing that the road could curve or dip in unsuspecting ways. The same is true for truck drivers. However, with the loads they carry, it’s not as easy for them to stop on a dime or turn back onto a road if they veer off course. Not being familiar with an area is a factor in 22 percent of all truck accidents.

Even though these three mistakes are very different, they can all result in deadly accidents and they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive. Having the right truck accident lawyer can make the difference in receiving the legal support necessary.  A trucker working in an unfamiliar territory can still be speeding while taking prescription drugs. Each addition is one more way the driver loses alertness and reaction time, and with enough time, an accident is bound to occur. If you are driving near a truck and you feel unsafe around it, simply slow down and give it space. Or, take an alternate route so that you don’t have to share the road with it.



Andrew Miller is an experienced Social Media expert and Author. He has worked in marketing for over a decade and finds his passion in bringing concepts to life for the world to enjoy. He is also currently attending Law School with a focus on Environmental Law.