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What are the common causes of semi-tractor-trailer crashes?

When you are driving on a freeway next to a semi-tractor-trailer truck you may feel a bit uneasy given the sheer size and power of the other vehicle.

It is wise to remain alert around large commercial trucks and understand that there are various reasons for a big rig to crash.

Distracted driving

There are many ways for a truck driver to become distracted. In addition to whatever may be happening outside the truck, there are distractions inside the cab including new technological advances. Examples include crash avoidance systems, dash camera systems, collision warning systems and roll-over stability controls. Use—or attempted use—of these can cause a driver’s attention to wander.

Overloaded cargo

While an overloaded truck violates certain state and federal regulations, the main concern is that it is a safety risk. If you notice that the large truck next to you on the freeway is having trouble staying within its lane, overloading could be the reason. Unevenly distributed cargo can cause imbalance and the risk that the truck could roll over. Overloading can also lead to dangerous wear and tear on tires and suspension components.

Insufficient training

New drivers must receive training in proper loading techniques in order to avoid unsafe situations. For example, trucks with overloaded cargo take longer to stop. An inexperienced driver may not account for the additional braking required to prevent an accident from occurring.

Driver fatigue

Many truck drivers work long hours. Some ignore the regulations established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. However, long hours on the road lead to fatigue. A sleep-deprived driver is but one of the possible reasons for a crash between a big rig and a passenger vehicle, which may cause devastating injuries or death for the victim.