Given that most motorists in Raleigh share the road with semi-trucks at some point, it is important to understand how and why large truck accidents occur. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration jointly conducted a study to learn more about the reasons serious crashes involving large trucks occurred. A sample of 120,000 large truck collisions that resulted in injuries or fatalities were studied. The study identified critical events and critical reasons assigned to these truck crashes.
A critical event is the action or situation that made the truck crash inevitable. The study recognized three major types of critical events involving semis.
One type of critical event involved semis weaving into another lane or off the road. This accounted for 32% of large truck accidents studied. The second type of critical event was loss of control due to speeding, cargo shifts, vehicle defects and poor road conditions. This accounted for 29% of large truck accidents studied. The third type of critical event involved semis rear-ending another vehicle in their lane. This accounted for 22% of large truck accidents studied.
A critical reason was the immediate reason that led to the critical event. Critical reasons are coded. Some truck crashes have multiple critical reasons, but not all crashes had an identifiable critical reason.
Driver non-performance accounted for 12% of all trucks involved in a crash. Some examples of non-performance include falling asleep behind the wheel or suffering a medical event while driving. Driver recognition made up 28% of all trucks involved in a crash. Some examples of recognition include daydreaming, distracted driving or failure to adequately observe. Driver decision accounted for 38% of all trucks involved in a crash. Some examples of driver decision include speeding and tailgating. Driver performance constituted 9% of all trucks involved in a crash. Some examples of driver performance include panicking and overcompensating.
The total number of large trucks involved in crashes that were coded with a critical reason was 78,000. Note that the number of large trucks involved in crashes that were not coded with a critical reason was 63,000.
Truck accidents can be devastating
No matter what led to the crash, trucking accidents can be absolutely devastating. After all, a semi-truck weighing tens of thousands of pounds has sheer physics on its side if it collides with a smaller passenger vehicle. Those involved in truck accidents are often severely injured. Some truck accidents even lead to fatalities. Truck drivers and companies who cause collisions should be held accountable for their actions. In some situations, this means filing a negligence lawsuit against the responsible parties so you can get the compensation you deserve.