The number of fatal truck accidents in Michigan and around the country has increased by an alarming 33% since 2011, and the number of commercial vehicle crashes that cause serious injuries has also risen sharply. The Volvo Trucks Accident Research Team is tasked with finding ways to improve commercial vehicle safety, and it does this by studying truck accident reports. After compiling this data, Volvo researchers identified six common types of truck accident.
Truck driver inattention
According to the Volvo research team, the six most common types of commercial vehicle accidents are:
- Lane departure accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Intersection accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Turning accidents
Truck driver inattention was identified as a contributory factor in five of these accident types, which could mean that distraction, fatigue and impairment are worryingly common in the transportation industry. This is concerning because when inattentive semi-tractor trailer drivers cause deadly commercial truck accidents, passenger vehicle occupants, pedestrians and cyclists are the road users killed 71% of the time.
Errors made by other road users
The Volvo research also reveals that many truck accidents are caused by errors made by passenger vehicle drivers and cyclists. Head-on collisions involving large trucks often occur when a passenger vehicle driver misjudges a truck’s speed and makes an unsafe passing maneuver, and turning accidents at intersections frequently happen because cyclists do not realize that tractor-trailers have large blind spots. However, large trucks are involved in deadly accidents more than twice as often as other vehicles, which suggests that stricter commercial vehicle regulations and more thorough truck driver training could greatly improve road safety.
The Volvo research makes clear that most accidents involving commercial vehicles would be avoided if truck drivers and other road users paid more attention and had better situational awareness. When you find yourself sharing the road with big rigs, you could reduce your chances of being involved in an accident by driving with great caution and maintaining a safe distance whenever possible.