Trucking accidents are a major traffic safety concern today. These incidents cause devastating injuries and deaths, along with millions of dollars in damage. They are the topic of many studies, performed by various safety organizations in the U.S., as part of the effort to determine how semi truck crashes happen on I-45 and other major highways and roadways as well as what can be done to prevent them. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) is one such organization.
Through their collection of statistical crash data, the FMCSA has determined a number of critical events that contribute to truck wrecks. In promoting awareness of these events, and to help reduce the number of accidents caused by them, I-45 truck accident lawyers recommend that truck drivers learn how these events contribute to truck accidents, and what can be done to avoid them.
How Are Trucking Accidents Caused
The FMCSA puts extensive effort into collecting and analyzing the crash data of all types of accidents, looking for causes, and attempting to determine what can be done to reduce these incidents. In their analysis of these events, they have developed a method of determining causation, involving three key factors:
- Critical events
- Critical reasons
- Associated factors. In every accident
The results of these three factors are studied and documented, with each of these events helping the FMCSA and other safety organizations see patterns in accident causation, and what changes can prevent accidents.
Accident Causation – What Is A Critical Event?
A critical event that can be attributed to the cause of a trucking accident is defined to be the circumstance or action that puts a vehicle in a position where an accident is unavoidable. According to FMCSA crash data coding, the critical event is assigned to the vehicle that made the crash inevitable, whether it was that particular vehicle that crashed, or another vehicle.
Three Main Types of Critical Events
Leaving the Travel Lane – A truck leaving the lane in which it is traveling, whether onto the shoulder, into the guardrail, or into the next lane of traffic, is the critical event that leads to most trucking accidents on America’s highways today. Of the incidents that were studied, 32 percent of them involved a truck leaving its lane of travel for one of a number of reasons, resulting in a collision.
Vehicle Loss of Control – The second most frequent critical event is loss of control of the vehicle, with 29 percent of truck accidents caused by everything from driving too fast for road or traffic conditions, to load shifting, mechanical failure, bad roads, and other reasons.
Rear-Ending Another Vehicle – The final 22 percent of trucking accidents were attributed to colliding with the rear of another vehicle in the same travel lane.
These studies, as well as the determination of the three critical events, show that most truck wrecks can be prevented. I-45 truck accident lawyers stress that avoiding the conditions that lead to these critical events is essential in reducing the number of semi truck crashes on I45 and other roads. Considering that the cause of truck wrecks is blamed mainly on these three critical events, it is possible for those who drive big rig trucks to improve their driving habits to prevent this chain of events and avoid such incidents!
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