Typically, people become more skillful at something when they have more education about it and spend more time doing that particular activity or task. Driving, however, may be one of the few exceptions to that rule. 

Unlike many other work tasks, quite a few people struggle to remain focused solely on driving safely, especially if they do it all day for work. Having more time behind the wheel might lead to people engaging in distraction more frequently, like checking their phones. Long hours at the wheel can also mean an increased risk of falling asleep while driving. 

All these are certainly concerns for commercial truck drivers, they are not the biggest risk on the road. What is the number one causative factor for commercial vehicle collisions in the United States?

Truck drivers often make questionable driving decisions

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration collects and analyzes data about commercial trucking crashes to help inform policy. They determine whether a particular crash was the fault of the truck driver or other vehicles involved. They also breakdown what actions the truck driver took that contributed to a crash. 

Despite all of the time at commercial truck drivers may spend on the road, it turns out that the extra experience doesn’t always translate to safer driving. The decisions that a driver makes at the wheel can be the biggest issue for their safety and the safety of other people on the road. Of the thousands of crashes caused annually by commercial trucks, 38% are the result of a bad decision on the part of the driver. 

What is a driving decision?

Examples of bad decisions at the wheel could include decisions that impact driving, not choosing to drink and drive or text and the wheel. Driving too fast for road conditions, trying to maneuver in a space too small for the vehicle or misjudging the speed of other vehicles when attempting to turn or merge into another lane of traffic are all bad driving decisions.

When commercial truck drivers make bad decisions that cause crashes, the people in the other vehicles involved in these collisions may suffer Serious injury and have to deal with tens of thousands of dollars worth of medical expenses and property damage. Thankfully, the law does allow for those hurt inside crashes to seek compensation from the driver responsible for the incident.