Truck Driver Actions Most Likely to Cause Crashes
Truck in Mirror

Careless truck driver behavior is a leading cause of commercial truck crashes. The trucking industry this month published research that predicts the negligent truck driver actions that are most likely to cause a crash.

The number of people killed in tractor-trailer crashes has risen steadily.  According to federal government reporting, deaths from catastrophic commercial truck accidents rose 13% between 2020 and 2021 alone.

The government’s 2006 “Large Truck Crash Causation Study” is the most comprehensive look into the causes of commercial truck accidents to date. It identified driver error as the leading cause of truck crashes.

Tired Truck Drivers in Crashes

Driver actions found to cause commercial truck accidents include:

  • Driver falling asleep
  • Inattentive driver
  • Poor decision making, such as following other vehicles too closely
  • Poor directional control

The study identified other key factors in commercial truck crashes, such as bad brakes, drug use, and traveling too fast for conditions.

A study released in October identifies dangerous truck driver actions and predicts which are most likely to cause accidents.

The American Transportation Research Institute is the research arm of the nation’s largest truck lobbying group, American Trucking Associations. In 2005 it released a study, “Predicting Truck Crash Involvement” that analyzed truck crash data to determine relationships between truck driver behavior and future crash probability. ATRI updated it in 2011 and 2018 – and now in 2022.

This newest research identified 25 past driver actions that increase the likelihood for future truck crashes. Just having one previous crash increases a truck driver’s chances for having another by more than 100%, according to ATRI.

Truck Drivers Who Crash Likely to Crash Again

Interpreting the data, ATRI determined that one prior crash increases the odds of a truck driver crashing again by 113% - 28% higher than in past ATRI studies.

In addition to crashing previously, ATRI concluded the negligent truck driver actions that provided the greatest chances for another crash are:

  • Failure to yield right-of-way violation – 141%
  • Failure to use/improper signal conviction – 116%
  • Reckless driving violation – 104%
  • Failure to keep in proper lane conviction – 78%
  • Improper lane change violation – 77%
  • Reckless or negligent driving conviction – 62%

Rise in Missouri Truck Crashes

The study also determined a link between a state’s level of truck driver inspections and truck crashes between 2018 and 2022.  ATRI says that Missouri’s truck inspections fell 10.4%, while truck crashes in Missouri increased 63.5%. Only four states had a bigger increase in commercial truck accidents.

When truck drivers act carelessly and cause deadly truck accidents in Missouri, they should be held accountable.  If you or a loved one was the victim of a catastrophic truck crash, speak with a personal injury lawyer.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.

Authored by Gray Ritter Graham. Posted in Blog November 2, 2022.


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