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Three Truck Driver Risks That Contribute to Crashes

Collisions involving semi trucks occur every day around this nation. While some accidents are purely misfortunate incidents, others could have been avoided if truck drivers didn’t take such risky moves. Unfortunately, many truck drivers do engage in risky driving behaviors that cause serious collisions.

Driving when impaired by legal prescription drugs or illegal narcotics, drunk driving, distracted driving, and speeding are all dangerous activities that some truck drivers are involved in behind the wheel; however, there are other risky behaviors commercial drivers are more likely to be engaged in that could pose risks to drivers sharing the road with them.

According to a new report by Road Safety Analysis commissioned by AA DriveTech and based on 1.4 million accidents reported to police from 2008 to 2012, the most common risky behaviors commercial drivers are engaged in include:

  • Tailgating. The report found that truck drivers were more likely to be engaged in tailgating, contributing to collisions. Following other cars too closely can cause a truck to jackknife or be involved in a rear-end crash.
  • Drowsy driving. Commercial drivers are likely to be engaged in driving while fatigued. Instead of pulling over and sleeping or waiting to drive until fully rested, truck drivers are more likely to drive while tired. In fact, there are many crashes involving trucks in which truck drivers were found to be fatigued.
  • Maneuver errors. In many collisions involving commercial vehicles, it was determined that truck drivers made unsafe driving behaviors and errors at the wheel.

While no driver is perfect or error-free, truck drivers have a huge responsibility to drive as safe as possible. This includes not tailgating, not driving while tired, and not taking unnecessary and unsafe driving risks. Because this report revealed that truck drivers do take such risks, it only makes sense that this information is used to help trucking companies retrain drivers.

During the winter months, most companies remind their drivers to not drive too fast for the conditions; however, the information in this report should help trucking companies also remind truckers to leave plenty of room when following other vehicles, take the necessary rest breaks and be safe on the road. Hopefully, the information in this new report will help reeducate truck drivers on how to behave safely on the road and reduce the number of truck accidents caused from risky and unsafe driving behaviors.


Damian Mallard, Esq.
Board Certified Sarasota Personal Injury Attorney