4 of the most common causes of semi-truck accidents

On Behalf of | Jul 17, 2023 | Personal Injury

The size of the vehicles involved in a collision often directly influences the severity of any particular crash. Bigger vehicles tend to cause far more damage, especially when they collide with smaller vehicles. Crashes between passenger vehicles and commercial trucks often lead to tragic consequences for the individuals in the four-wheeled vehicle, for example, although the truck operator may be simultaneously spared much harm.

Obviously, it is in the best interests of anyone on the road to avoid such collisions whenever possible. Those who understand the leading causes of commercial vehicle collisions will be in a better position to protect themselves out on the road.

Getting too close to an 18-wheeler

When looking at the causes of commercial collisions, the breakdown of fault makes it clear that those in passenger vehicles do sometimes cause such crashes, although they are responsible for less than a majority of such wrecks. Typically, when those in smaller vehicles cause crashes with commercial trucks, poor choices in judgment, such as getting too close to a commercial truck will ultimately be to blame. Driving in a truck’s blind spots or not leaving enough space at an intersection can increase the possibility of a crash occurring. However, more than half of the crashes that involve a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle are the fault of the commercial vehicle operator involved.

Making the wrong driving decision

It takes a lot of focus and training to safely control a semi-truck in traffic. They make wide turns and take longer to accelerate or decelerate. When looking at the crashes caused by semi-trucks, the number one reason that commercial drivers cause crashes is that they make the wrong decision for their circumstances.

Distraction and recognition errors

Being at the wheel for 10 hours a day or more can be mentally taxing as well as physically exhausting for the person driving the 18-wheeler. Sometimes, they become distracted by mobile devices or their surroundings, either due to exhaustion or in an attempt to stave off their mental fatigue. Unfortunately, failing to properly observe surroundings is the second most common error made by commercial drivers that contributes to the crashes they cause.


The third most common reason for a commercial driver to cause a crash is nonperformance. The simplest explanation for nonperformance might be that a commercial driver falls asleep at the wheel. Other times, it could be a medical emergency, like a heart attack or stroke, that renders a truck driver unconscious and unable to perform their job.

Those who understand the factors that contribute to commercial crashes can make better choices to reduce their personal risk of a wreck. Additionally, those who are harmed as a result of such crashes may be in a position to make a stronger case if they better understand what may have contributed to the cause(s) of their harm.

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