Why Truck Accidents in the USA are Still So Frequent: The 4 Common Causes

Truck driving remains one of the most dangerous professions in the world, especially in the US. It made the list of top ten deadliest professions alongside such occupations as deep-sea fishing or power line workers which already speaks volumes. The heavy cargo that is carried often turns the accident into a fatal truck crash for other drivers on the road, or sometimes even properties. The blinding sun might be the cause of one of the first pileups of the year, but the most common causes of truck accidents are way more complex. Let’s find out the 4 most persistent reasons why truck driving has become dangerous alongside a dash of mind-opening statistics.

 

1.    Fatigue: One of the Main Causes of Truck Accidents

 

When it comes to truck driving and fatigue, it takes the top positions in every statistical measurement of truck accidents in the US. Think of long-haul routes, minimal rest in between and overworking. Only a few of many reasons for fatigue.

Driving while being fatigued caused 13% of truck accidents in 2015 and still continues to be one of the main reasons why truck driving is a dangerous profession. Approximately 20% of truck drivers fall asleep at the wheel within the 30 day period.

Truck companies tend to put a lot of pressure on delivery, with short and firm deadlines compared to large distances that need to be covered. And this leads us straight into the second cause.

 

Semi truck on the road

 

2.    Overspeeding: Deadline Pressure

In 2017, speeding is shown to be the most frequently reported factor in driver-related fatalities. This overspeeding and overtaking issue within truck driving in the US easily points to the major pressure of deadlines.

But are those strict deadlines always possible to achieve? The risk is not just truck accidents, but potentially losing a job or paying a fine.

How about factors such as unexpected traffic jams, poor weather conditions, technical issues and more? That’s when overspeeding and overtaking comes in, and if truck accidents come at expense of speeding then it is more than likely to be fatal.

 

 

Burned truck

 

3.    Alcohol & Drug Abuse: A Big Issue

 

Alcohol and drug abuse is something that made our past list of overlooked issues in the trucking industry, and 2020 promises to be more in touch with this issue with projects like ClearingHouse.

However, today the problem still persists. And even with passenger vehicles taking the spotlight for this problem more, truck driving has been often an area where usage of alcohol and non-medicinal drugs on the job was spotted.

This problem is eclipsing almost every type of transportation sector while being responsible for approximately 10% of truck accidents in the US each year over the past 5 years.

 

Semi truck

 

4.    Lack of Training & Maintenance: Cutting Corners & Costs

 

Brake and tire problems are found amongst the top ones for large truck accidents and crashes. Yes – by law the companies are required to check the trucks so that they meet top conditions for hitting the road. But statistics indicate that is not always the case.

This is a result of cutting the cost and time that it takes to maintain the truck in the top-notch state.

Poorly trained drivers can also be the reason for major truck accidents in the US. And current driver shortages in the country might encourage some companies to hire someone as fast as possible, neglecting all the necessary training hours that are needed.

 

 

 

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Paul Mark