Many people forget that even commercial truck drivers are individuals just like us. Even individuals who drive for their job commit serious driver errors that can cause devastating accidents. Weighing up to 80,000 pounds, 18-wheelers can do a lot of damage to a car that ends up in its path.
A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration study shows that driver error causes 87 percent of large truck accidents. That being said, what are the most common driver errors committed by 18-wheel truck drivers?
Over 70 percent of large truck accidents happen because the driver is focusing on something other than the road, such as a phone or something in the cab. When a driver of an 18-wheeler is distracted by something, causing them to lose focus on the road, it can be hard to stop in time if there is an obstruction to watch out for. Because of their size, it takes much longer for an 18-wheeler to come to a complete stop or slow down safely.
Many accidents occur because people fall asleep behind the wheel. Commercial vehicle drivers are no different, and it is possible that they are even more prone to drowsy driving as they drive for many more hours than a typical driver. When large truck drivers fall asleep behind the wheel, the chances of driving into an oncoming lane of traffic or rear-ending a car increases dramatically.
When large truck drivers are speeding or driving too fast for possible weather conditions, everyone is at risk. 18-wheelers traveling at high speeds risk their truck coming unhooked from their trailer. Jackknife accidents and rollovers are frequent in large trucks that are speeding.
It is important to stay alert and aware when you are traveling next to 18-wheelers. Giving these large trucks space can help you avoid a disastrous accident.