Semi Truck Accident Risk Factors
Driving a semi truck always presents a bigger risk than a non-commercial vehicle because they are so large and heavy. Truck drivers not only need to be aware of the dangers their large vehicles present, but other drivers need to be cautious of the risks they present as well. Even the smallest of driving errors can result in a catastrophe when a semi truck is involved. This article explains the biggest risk factors that can result in a semi truck accident.
Risks Presented by Passenger Vehicle Drivers
Most people don’t realize this, but passenger vehicles are most commonly the cause of traffic accidents involving semi-trucks. Many times, a driver’s ignorance of a semi-truck’s performance capabilities result in a collision.
The following actions present extreme risks of semi-truck accidents:
- Driving in the “No-Zones” or the areas behind and beside a commercial truck where the truck driver has limited or zero visibility
- Changing lanes abruptly in front of a truck
- Maneuvering to the right of a truck that is making a right turn
- Misjudging an approaching truck’s speed at an intersection and making a left turn in front of the truck
- Merging improperly into traffic, causing a truck to maneuver or brake quickly
- Failure to slow down or speed up when a truck begins to change lanes or merge
- Unsafe passing, particularly passing with insufficient headway
- Passing a truck, then being blown out of position by air turbulence or cross-wind.
- Pulling into traffic from the roadside in front of a truck without accelerating sufficiently
- Driving between large trucks
- Abandoning a vehicle in a travel lane, or failing to get a disabled vehicle completely off the highway and onto the shoulder
Risks Presented by Semi-Truck Drivers
Commercial drivers must be skilled and patient. When they are not mindful of the power behind their vehicle, accidents ensue.
The following are risk factors semi-truck drivers present on the road:
- Inadequate training as to driving technique, safety concerns, and defensive driving
- Systems of compensation that encourage faster vehicle speeds and more hours of consecutive vehicle operation than would normally be advisable
- Unrealistic schedules and expectations of trucking companies that encourage drivers to hurry, despite safety risks involved