According to the AAA Foundation study, both drivers of cars and large trucks can be at fault in crashes or near-crashes.
Too many motorists feel entitled to the right of way, even if the other vehicle is a huge semi that needs more room to make turns and other maneuvers. When it is car against truck, it is obvious who suffers the most damage and personal injuries.
From this study, unsafe driver actions were recorded for 80% of car drivers and 27% of truck drivers. When the study was analyzed, it showed that the driver of the car caused more accidents than did the truck driver’s actions.
The most common actions that get drivers into trouble include:
– Failure to keep in lane or running off the road.
– Failure to yield the right of way.
– Driving too fast for conditions or above speed limit.
– Failure to obey signs and signals.
– Driver inattention.
J. Peter Kissinger, CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety said, “Motorists said don’t recognize that trucks behave very differently from cars, so they think trucks can stop on a dime and change lanes quickly. In reality, trucks take a long time to stop and cannot whip from lane to lane. As a result, a mistake near a truck can have catastrophic consequences for a motorist. In fact, in our study 98% of the fatalities were car occupants.”
To prevent crashes and personal injury, Kissinger suggests that drivers adopt the following strategies:
– Never change lanes abruptly around a truck.
– Slow down to let trucks have the right of way.
– Drive at a safe speed.
– Stay alert to traffic signals and road conditions.
– Use turn signals.
– Avoid driving alongside or immediately behind a truck.
– Never cut in front of a truck, especially when it may need to stop.
Nearly 46,000 fatal two-vehicle crashes recorded in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) from 1995-1998 were studied. FARS is a national database of all fatal vehicle crashes in the United States and is based on police observations and investigators’ findings.
NOTE: The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is an independent, publicly funded, 501 (c)(3) charitable research and educational organization founded by the American Automobile Association in 1947. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic-related deaths and injuries by conducting research and educating the public about preventive strategies. https://www.aaafoundation.org