Any car crash might lead to major expenses for the people involved in the wreck. Oftentimes, vehicles require repair or replacement after a collision, and more serious crashes may lead to injuries that require emergency medical care and result in long-term financial challenges.
One factor that often exacerbates the severity of a crash is the size of the vehicles involved. Bigger, heavier vehicles will typically cause worse damage than smaller vehicles, especially when a massive semi-truck collides with a basic sedan in traffic. Motorists who understand the leading causes of such collisions may be in a better position to protect themselves from a wreck.
Sometimes, those in smaller vehicles are the ones who make mistakes. According to an analysis of semi-truck collisions, slightly more than half of such crashes are the fault of the bigger vehicle, so just under half of them are the fault of those in other vehicles. Common mistakes by drivers that lead to semi-truck collisions include driving too close to big trucks and cutting them off on highways. The drivers of commercial vehicles can also make mistakes. Making the wrong choice in traffic, which can happen in an instant, is the top-reported way that commercial drivers contribute to crashes.
Distraction and recognition errors
Frequently, people don’t pay full attention to their surroundings. This is a mistake that anyone driving can make, including those in commercial vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports recognition errors, including failing to spot others in traffic, as the second leading reason a commercial driver causes a crash.
The third commonly-reported reason for commercial truck drivers to cause a collision is non-performance, which often relates to some kind of medical event. A driver who has an emergency while at work could lose consciousness or muscular strength and may not be able to continue operating their truck, leaving to a crash.
Issues with a vehicle
A surprisingly large number of semi-truck collisions occur because there is a problem with the commercial truck. The FMCSA estimates that approximately 10% of the collisions caused by big trucks are the results of vehicle issues. Poor maintenance practices or defective parts might mean that a business rather than the driver is actually to blame for the crash.
Understanding what causes semi-truck collisions may help motorists avoid them and also pursue financial compensation from the right party or parties if a wreck occurs.