There are many factors that can contribute to a large truck collision in Knoxville, including bad weather, traffic signals, vehicle design, truck maintenance and traffic conditions. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, one contributing factor involves the amount of experience the truck driver has on the road. Large truck operators must be specially trained and licensed to drive big rigs, as these large vehicles operate much differently than other motor vehicles.
Inexperienced and negligent truck drivers can cause major tractor trailer accidents, leading to serious injuries and even death. One study conducted by the FMCSA sought to find the main factors that led to a number of truck accidents over a 33-month period. The results showed that poor driver performance, inexperience and negligence contributed to the 87 percent of the accidents. The specific truck driver behaviors included the following:
- Driver was physically impaired with alcohol, distraction or fatigue.
- Driver was inexperienced, anxious and/or made poor decisions on how to react to a situation.
- Driver was speeding, tailgating or displaying another form of reckless behavior that made it difficult to respond to road conditions.
Researchers also found that speeding tractor trailers were involved in 30 percent of the study group.
Due to the heavy weight, big rigs need a longer distance to brake, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. When truck drivers exceed the speed limit, they may be unable to stop if a car pulls out in front of them or if they approach heavy traffic conditions. This is especially true in bad weather conditions. Motorists should always drive defensively and be on the lookout for negligent truckers.