Commercial vehicles are not limited to semis or other large vehicles, but when they cause accidents, the results are often devastating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that over 4,000 people died in accidents involving these vehicles, with non-commercial drivers and passengers suffering the greatest number of deaths. 

There are a variety of reasons for these accidents, and knowing what might cause them could help you avoid the pain and destruction they often cause. 

Driver fatigue  

Commercial vehicle drivers usually travel long hours to fulfill their quotas and make deliveries on time. While most companies have rules and restrictions about how many hours drivers spend behind the wheel, they are often broken by drivers who feel pressured about their performance. The resulting fatigue may slow their response time or cause them to fall asleep behind the wheel, which could result in serious accidents. 

Insufficient braking time  

Most large commercial vehicles operate with air brakes, which require additional distance for braking. Some drivers may travel too quickly or follow other vehicles too closely to allow for sufficient braking. If you notice a commercial vehicle behind you is tailgating, then you may want to switch lanes if possible to protect yourself and your passengers from a possible rear-end collision. 

Cell phone use  

Some drivers maintain constant contact with their employers and other vehicles, which requires cell phone use. However, using these devices while on the road can cause inattention to traffic and the inability to stop in time if road conditions change. Consider reporting drivers who use their phones and cause danger to those around them. 

More than ten percent of deaths on the highway in 2018 involved large commercial trucks. Driver awareness and stricter trucking laws may help lower these statistics in the coming year.