The Top Causes Of Truck Crashes and What You Can Do To Prevent Them

February 25, 2020 | by Marketing Team

Top Causes For Truck Accidents | Thunder Funding-1

In 2007 the FMCSA conducted a Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS). Over the course of 33 months, the FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) analyzed 963 cases from 120,000 fatal and injury crashes involving 141,000 trucks.

Here are the three top causes of crashes as per LTCCS findings:

  1. Speeding too fast for the conditions
  2. Brake problems
  3. Unfamiliarity with the roadway

The FMCSA suggests reducing your speed by one-third on wet roads and by half or more on snow packed roads. Servicing brakes regularly and planning your trip so that you know when and where there are tight turns or challenging terrain is simply what good drivers do.

The study also found that large trucks were found to be guilty of the following behavior:

  • 32% ran out of their lane and either into another lane or off the road.
  • 29% loss control of their vehicle due to traveling too fast for the weather conditions, cargo shift, vehicle systems failure, poor road conditions, or other reasons.
  • 22% collided with the rear end of another vehicle in the truck’s travel lane.


Interestingly, 50% of the LTCCS crashes involved collisions between a large truck and a passenger vehicle due to the following:

  • Interruption of the traffic flow
  • Unfamiliarity with the roadway
  • Inadequate surveillance
  • Driving too fast for the conditions
  • Illegal maneuvering
  • Inattention to the road and surroundings
  • Fatigue
  • Illness
  • False assumption of other road user’s actions
  • Distraction by object or person inside the vehicle


These statistics are not only sad, they are also preventable and eye opening. Ongoing driver training, monitoring your safety KPIs, being diligent about pre-trip inspections, and hiring the right drivers for the job are just some of the things fleet owners can do to be safer on the road. What is your fleet doing to prevent crashes and protect those on the road?

For more information about trucking safety be sure to check out this blog post: The Debate: Side Guard Rails on Trucks

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