The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published data called “The Large Truck Crash Causation Study” that examined the factors leading up to 963 collisions involving trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of over 10,000 pounds. According to the data, an overwhelming majority of the truck crashes that were studied involved driver-related critical causes.
These causes generally broke down into four main categories:
- Non-performance: This category generally related to the truck driver becoming physically incapacitated while behind the wheel. This included a drowsy driver who eventually fell asleep or a driver who suffered a heart attack or seizure while in control of the vehicle.
- Recognition: It is not uncommon for drivers to fail to recognize danger on the road. If the driver was distracted or inattentive, they might not see hazards with enough time to react.
- Decision: Whether pressed for time or distracted by other factors, truck drivers can suffer from poor decision-making. They could be driving too fast for weather conditions, misjudging their stopping distance or making erratic lane changes.
- Performance: Also commonly referred to as training, a driver must rely on their performance background to ensure hazards are avoided. From panicking in bad weather to overcompensating based on traffic patterns, a driver’s performance can result in serious collisions.
Vehicle and environmental factors
While the lion’s share of truck collisions could be traced to driver error, vehicle and environmental factors played a significant role. Vehicle errors can include tire blowout, faulty brakes or other defective safety equipment. Environmental factors are generally self-explanatory as many accidents can be caused by rain, snow, ice, heavy fog and strong winds.
If you were injured or have lost a loved one in a truck collision, it is wise to seek the guidance of an experienced legal professional. Based on the facts of your case, you might be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries, lost wages and property damage.