When it comes to hauling cargo, it seems like everyone else on the road is “trying to get you.” If you’ve ever thought that, then you’re not far off. The reality is that 81% of tractor trailer accidents are caused by the passenger vehicle’s driver, and not the trucker. Since we can’t control what other drivers do, it’s imperative we utilize as many defensive driving techniques as possible: like signaling longer before changing lanes, keeping a safe distance from other vehicles, and practicing patience with slower or reckless drivers.
Here are the top 5 reasons for trucking accidents—something you can keep in-mind before and during your next haul:
- Driver Error
This includes everything from driving drowsy, to distracted driving (being on a cell phone), to driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. This is the easiest and quickest issue to correct, while being the most common.
- Poor Vehicle Maintenance
With thousands of miles being logged daily on many trucks, it’s no wonder there are mechanical failures. Be sure to perform the pre-shift safety check before each time you plan to drive.
- Equipment Failure
Sometimes no amount of safety checks can prepare you for mechanical failure—sometimes the manufacturing process creates faulty parts, and dangerous circumstances. Be sure you’re up-to-date on any vehicle recalls or known problems, and that those issues are promptly addressed.
- Inclement Weather
Because of semi size and weight, proper training is important for understanding how to handle big rigs in less-than-ideal weather conditions. Being unsure of what to do in heavy rain, snow, fog and ice is very dangerous and can cause serious accidents.
- Improper Cargo Loading
There are industry-specific rules and regulations that are supposed to be followed for loading commercial trucks. Those guides outline things like weight, size, length, width, height, and even special methods for securing cargo. Mistakes and negligence should be avoided at all costs.
We hope you’ve found this list helpful!
Does something else belong here? If so, drop us a comment to help fellow truckers learn more.
For tips and tricks on staying safe on the road, see: 27 Truck Driver Safety Tips and Tricks