Large trucks increase the risk of accidents on roads. Part of this is because of their size and weight and the fact that other motorists may not know how to drive in their presence.
Accidents occur due to both truck drivers and other motorists. There are certain driving strategies that they can follow to help reduce the number of crashes.
Truck accident facts and stats
According to the National Safety Council, 10% of fatal accidents involve large trucks even though they only account for 4% of registered vehicles. The number of injuries caused by large truck crashes tends to increase every year, and fatalities from accidents increased 37% in nine years. The majority of the fatal victims were occupants of other vehicles. The majority of fatal crashes occurred on rural roads and during daylight hours.
Driving tips for truck drivers
Some of the crashes are due to errors by the truck drivers or due to the truck itself. Brakes on large trucks can take a beating, especially if they spend a lot of time driving over mountain passes. Drivers should ensure they conduct regular maintenance so their vehicles run efficiently.
A common issue with drivers is that they work long hours. This results in driving fatigued, which is a common cause of accidents. So is speeding.
Tips for other motorists
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration discusses some of the ways that other motorists can drive safely around trucks. Due to their weight, it takes longer for trucks to stop. Drivers should not cut in front of them or stop quickly if a truck is right behind them.
Another issue with large trucks is their blind spots, as there are large ones on all sides. The best advice is if a motorist cannot see the truck driver in the vehicle side mirror, it is a blind spot, and the motorist should move out of it quickly. Other tips are to allow extra room to pass, allow the truck extra turning room and to stay further back if driving behind a large truck.