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What causes a crash between a car and a semi-truck?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Size and weight differences are undeniable when you compare an 18-wheeler truck to a conventional passenger vehicle like a van or SUV. Because of how massive 18-wheeler trucks are, truck drivers can have a more difficult time maneuvering roads or coming to a full stop than drivers of passenger vehicles.

Due to their sheer weight, semi-trucks can easily wreck passenger vehicles in a crash, not to mention cause catastrophic injuries to a vehicle’s occupants. For this reason, all drivers ought to pay close attention when driving near an 18-wheeler. By exploring what typically causes crashes between a car and a semi-truck, drivers can contribute to road safety.

Mistakes by the driver of the smaller vehicle

When it comes to accidents involving semi-trucks and smaller vehicles, one of the primary causes often lies with the smaller vehicle’s driver. Many accidents occur due to the driver’s lack of awareness of the semi-truck’s blind spots. These blind spots, also known as “no-zones,” are areas around the truck where the driver’s view is obstructed.

Another common mistake drivers of smaller vehicles make is the failure to yield the right of way to semi-trucks. In scenarios such as intersections or highway merges, drivers may misjudge the speed and size of an approaching truck. This can lead to attempts to cut in front of or merge closely behind the truck.

A commercial driver’s mistakes

Commercial drivers are subject to strict regulations regarding their hours of service. Violations of these regulations, such as driving for extended periods without taking required rest breaks, can lead to driver fatigue. This can increase the likelihood of accidents. Fatigued drivers may experience decreased reaction times and diminished awareness of their surroundings, making it difficult to respond effectively to changing traffic conditions or unexpected events on the road.

Equipment malfunctions and maintenance issues can also play a role in accidents involving commercial trucks. Failure to properly maintain essential components such as brakes, tires and steering systems can result in mechanical failures that compromise the truck’s ability to operate safely.

Crashes between cars and semi-trucks can result from mistakes made by both the drivers of smaller vehicles and commercial drivers. Driver awareness, adherence to traffic laws and proper vehicle maintenance are crucial elements in preventing accidents on the road. By understanding the common causes of these crashes and taking proactive measures to address them, drivers can better ensure their safety while sharing the road with large trucks.