Highway Truck Accident

Highway truck accidents are very dangerous, often resulting in fatalities and multiple vehicle crashes. Large trucks are prone to jackknifing and rolling over, and both of these things can be highly detrimental to the truck driver and to other motorists. Roughly twelve percent of all traffic accidents that result in fatalities involve a large truck.

Highway Truck Accident Risk Factors

Speed limits greater than fifty-five miles an hour contribute significantly to the chances of a highway truck accident. Curvatures in the road and inclement weather conditions increase these odds even more. Unfortunately, these conditions are often unavoidable for large trucks. Cargo must be delivered on time, and driving on the highway is the best and sometimes only option for travelling to cargo destinations. Highway speed limits are nearly always at least fifty-five miles an hour, so taking a large truck on the highway automatically puts the truck at some risk for a highway truck accident.

About half of all highway truck accidents that result in fatalities occur on a road that has only two lanes, one going in each direction. Lack of visible signage, lighting, and dividers can contribute to the risk of a head on collision or sideswipe causing a highway truck accident. This type of highway truck accident can result in more fatalities, injuries, and damage based on how long it takes to clean up the debris from the accident. Drivers that are unaware of the accident may come upon the wreck at high speeds and have no way to avoid crashing.

Highway Truck Accident Causes

The most common causes of highway truck accidents are driver error and vehicle malfunction. Drivers should ensure that they are well-rested and free from the influence of substances such as drugs and alcohol. Additionally, all vehicles should receive regular service to remain well-maintained. This can reduce the incidence of unexpected vehicle malfunction while on the highway.

Driver Error

Driver error is the most common cause of highway truck accidents. Drivers that are tired or under the influence of alcohol or drugs often make bad judgments and cannot react quickly to avoid a highway truck accident. In some cases, the truck driver causes the highway truck accident, but in many cases a careless or impaired driver of another vehicle may cause the accident.

Vehicle Malfunction

Vehicle malfunctions are another common cause of highway truck accidents. Braking system failure and tire complications are the two malfunctions most likely to cause a highway truck accident. Tires may shred or come off. In some cases, this is not harmful to the truck, but may cause other vehicles to wreck. Braking system failure can be catastrophic, as the driver may turn quickly to avoid hitting an object or vehicle and end up jackknifing or rolling over.


“An Analysis of Fatal Large Truck Crashes .” NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. U. S. Department of Transportation, n.d. Web. 13 Oct 2013. <http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/809-569.pdf>.

“Large-Truck Crash Causation Study: An Initial Overview.” NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. U. S. Department of Transportation, n.d. Web. 13 Oct 2013. <http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810646.pdf>.

“Statistics and Facts.” U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. United States of America Department of Transportation, n.d. Web. 13 Oct 2013. <http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/facts-research/art-stats-facts.htm>.