Ohio Tractor Trailer Accidents: What You Need to Know
Every day, thousands of large tractor trailers or big rig trucks drive on Ohio highways and roads. These large vehicles are heavy, cumbersome, and difficult to drive. On the road with small passenger vehicles, a tractor trailer can be a liability risk. In fact, tractor trailer accidents in Ohio are numerous each year. Hundreds of people are injured and even killed each year as a result of a crash involving a large truck.
What makes tractor trailers even more dangerous is when they are improperly maintained or operated by a reckless driver. Ohio tractor trailer accidents have actually increased by about 6 percent in 2010 and fatal crashes rose by 8.7 percent, according to data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [https://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811552.pdf February 2012].
In August 2013, a tractor trailer filled with Heineken beer crashed into a passenger van on a state highway. The truck had a faulty tire, which caused the truck to crash into the van. The drivers of both vehicles sustained minor injuries.
In September 2013, a tractor trailer drove off a bridge on U.S. Route 62. The driver was killed when the trailer fell onto the railroad tracks below. Police are unsure what caused the truck to veer off the highway.
Tractor trailer accidents in Ohio like these occur thousands of times each year.
Ohio Tractor Trailer Accidents Statistics
According to 2009 data from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, tractor trailers were involved in over 18,500 accidents. Over 10,700 of the accidents were caused by truck driver error. According to Unit Statistics from Heavy Truck Crashes, over 180 people died in these 2009 crashes, and over 5,000 people were injured. Of all the crashes that occur in Ohio, 46 percent of the accidents occur from truck companies who are based outside of Ohio. 83 percent of the accidents were not weather-related [https://publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/2009CrashFacts.pdf November 2010]
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration cites faulty truck mechanics as the number one cause of Tractor trailer accidents in Ohio. Commonly, brake problems and changes in traffic flow rate cause the accidents to occur. The third highest cause of accidents is prescription drug use [https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/facts-research/research-technology/analysis/fmcsa-rra-07-017.htm July 2007].
Preventing Ohio Tractor Trailer Accidents
When you drive on Ohio highways each day, you can help prevent tractor trailer accidents. Driving defensively is a necessity to keep yourself and your passengers safe on the road. Use these specific techniques to further avoid accidents involving tractor trailers.
Check for blind spots: Large trucks have large blind sports. If you cannot see a truck’s mirror, then they probably cannot see you. Often, a truck driver cannot see you if you are behind the trailer or along the side of the trailer.
Keep your distance: Stay at least 20 car lengths behind tractor trailers to avoid accidents. Keep a larger distance between your vehicle and the truck when going up and down hills. Allow trucks a lot of extra space to make turns at intersections.
Drive cautiously: Don’t dart suddenly in front of a truck without warning. This causes the driver to brake hard, which could cause the truck to spin out of control. Always use your turn signal and drive at safe speeds.