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Top Causes of Commercial Truck Crashes

Commercial trucks number over 15 million on the roads of Mississippi and the rest of the U.S., and when they're involved in an accident, the results can be fatal for other drivers. A new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has analyzed the causes of truck accidents and broken them down into four basic categories: Decision, recognition, performance, and non-performance.

To form its conclusions, researchers analyzed the crash data of 120,000 fatal truck crashes that occurred over a 33-month period. They found that almost 75 percent of these cases involved another vehicle and that in 68,000 of the crashes, the trucker was at fault.

In the category of decisions, researchers included cases where truckers conducted themselves in a negligent or reckless manner, such as speeding, following too close to the vehicle in front, and misjudging the speed of other vehicles. Truckers failed to respond properly to danger because of inattentiveness or distractions inside the truck or outside.

Accidents due to non-performance included drowsy driving accidents and crashes caused when truckers suffered from a medical episode. Performance refers to situations where truckers panicked, overcompensated when turning, or failed to exercise good directional control. Among the four categories, poor decisions accounted for the most crashes (30,000 out of the 68,000).

In the wake of truck accidents, victims often want to find out just what caused the accident and whether they have grounds for an injury claim. This step may be easier with legal assistance. Accident attorneys may be able to hire experts to investigate the accident and find proof, such as police reports and ELD data, that the trucker was negligent. They can then negotiate for a fair settlement covering vehicle damage, medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.