Due to differences in size and weight, trucks involved in accidents with smaller vehicles present a unique threat. In order to reduce the amounts of serious injuries and deaths that result from these accidents, it's important to learn about their most common causes. In Pennsylvania and other states, truck accidents are either caused by the drivers of small vehicles or the drivers of trucks. A smaller percentage of crashes are caused by environmental factors.
Speeding may be behind the rise in truck crash numbers that many states are experiencing. Pennsylvania residents should know that many of these crashes are fatal, usually for the occupants of passenger vehicles: The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has said that occupants of smaller vehicles compose 72% of all fatalities in collisions between trucks and other vehicles.
Truck accidents can be particularly dangerous for others sharing the Pennsylvania roadways. Because of the size and mass of large commercial vehicles, other people in a crash are at a higher risk of severe injuries or even death. In 2017, deaths associated with semi-truck crashes reached the highest point in 29 years according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Some of these crashes may be caused by speeding truck drivers aiming to make up time before taking a mandatory rest break after eight hours of driving.
Pennsylvania motorists will be happy to learn that overall driving fatalities have dipped over the past year. That is the good news. Unfortunately, not all classifications of driving deaths have dropped. One notable exception is deaths involving large trucks.
Sharing the road with large trucks and semis can be daunting for any driver, but especially a new driver. Making sure you are safe while on the road with a large truck is important, as you need to follow different guidelines than you might when simply sharing the road with fellow car drivers.