Large trucks play a crucial role in highway safety in California. Their size and a variety of other factors can result in more accidents if the correct precautions are not taken. Drivers of both trucks and passenger vehicles should be aware of the risks in order to keep calamities to a minimum.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2015 3,852 people were killed due to accidents involving large trucks. The majority of those killed were drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles.
Truckers should be aware of a number of factors that can increase the incident of crashes. Certain risks are due to driver error. Some truckers drive long hours, and exhaustion is one of the factors in truck accidents. In fact, even though there are regulations in place to limit the amount of hours one can drive in one stretch, some drivers violate these due to tight schedules. Trucks must also receive regular maintenance to ensure their safety on the road. For example, the Truckers Report states that brake upkeep and repairs need to be done daily because they can wear down easily due to the size and weight of the vehicle.
Poor weather is also a factor in truck accidents. It already takes big vehicles longer to stop during regular conditions, but when it is wet or snowy, they need even more room to stop completely. Other drivers on the road should also use caution when in the vicinity of a big truck. They should be aware and not drive too close behind or in the driver's blind spot. Practicing defensive driving will decrease the incident of crashes and lessen their impact if something does go wrong.