Causes of Big Truck Accidents and How to Avoid Them

Significant truck accidents are often fatal for several reasons, but there is no single cause for most crashes. Fatigue, drinking alcohol, speeding, and mechanical defects are contributing factors. These factors can be combined or alone to create a devastating collision. Regardless of the cause, drivers must understand the risks involved in large truck crashes. Truck accidents are very complex so getting an experienced lawyer like the Barrus Injury Lawyers is a good option.


A recent study of large truck crashes found that driver fatigue was the main factor in more than a third of all fatal collisions. The NTSB investigated the factors contributing to these crashes and concluded that fatigue was the most common factor. Fatigue is a factor in nearly 25 percent of crashes nationwide. Fatigue is the leading cause of truck accidents and is linked to more fatalities than any other factor.

In addition, fatigue plays a role in the cause of truck crashes. Drivers must react quickly enough to avoid crashing into another vehicle. If the truck driver is tired, they are less likely to make an emergency stop, and the other driver may overlook the swerve. Fatigue is also a cause of significant truck accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that truck drivers should avoid fatigue when driving.

Drinking Alcohol

While drunk driving is not as every day for truckers as for passenger vehicle drivers, it can still result in an accident. Truck drivers are prone to fatigue and lack of sleep, which are also factors in truck accident fatalities. Additionally, drivers are more likely to make wrong decisions when under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol also slows the reaction time and increases the risk of an accident.

While the drivers of commercial vehicles are highly capable of safely traversing rural areas, driving on steep hills, and navigating narrow corridors, commercial drivers must remain alert. In addition, they must engage in highly technical operations, making their abilities less than perfect. Intoxication can impair coordination, vision, and reaction time. Commercial truck drivers impaired by alcohol risk losing their commercial driver’s license and injuring innocent motorists.


Many fatal traffic accidents are caused by speeding. Excessive speed increases the driver’s reaction time and the distance to stop, reducing the effectiveness of occupant safety equipment. The speeding driver cannot control the truck, and the impact affects their reaction time. Speeding also decreases the effectiveness of seatbelts. Ultimately, speeding causes a large number of traffic accidents.

In many cases, speeding contributes to significant truck accidents. While it is dangerous to speed, driving at the speed limit is also irresponsible in certain circumstances. Drivers must be cautious and consider the weather, as road conditions can significantly affect truck performance. Trucks can weigh 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. This makes stopping distances longer than passenger cars. A speeding truck is 20 times heavier than a passenger vehicle.

Mechanical Defects

A big truck has many components, and a single failure in any one of these can cause a significant accident. For example, whether the truck’s steering wheel or brakes fail, the loss can cause a catastrophic crash. The failure of one component can cause the car to lose control and impact, leaving the driver with no time to avoid the collision or find another way to prevent it. In addition, if a truck’s steering system fails, it can cause the driver to lose control of the car and crash into other vehicles.

Driver Error

The most significant percentage of truck crashes are the result of driver error. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), driver error is responsible for 88% of commercial vehicle collisions. However, other factors can contribute to truck crashes, including speeding or a motorist’s failure to check blind spots. No matter who is at fault, truck accidents can result in severe injury or even death.

Fatigue is a major contributing factor in truck accidents. Fatigued truck drivers make mistakes while driving, resulting in miscalculations in speed or judgments. Other factors that may cause serious accidents include poor vehicle maintenance or aggressive driving habits. These factors can all contribute to a truck accident, but driver error is a leading cause.

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