According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 22 percent of large truck accidents took place because the driver was unfamiliar with the roadway — that’s over 31 thousand truck accidents.
A driver’s unfamiliarity with the roadway is the third leading risk-factor when it comes to why large trucks crash.
The phrase “unfamiliar” can mean several things, including being unaccustomed to new roads and routes, to roadways undergoing construction.
Drivers can become distracted while trying to navigate an unfamiliar route.
These factors significantly increase the risk for fatal truck accidents.
Drivers can also become lost, meaning that every obstacle they encounter on the road is a new, unfamiliar experience.
If you are a commercial truck driver, you can reduce your risk of crashing by carefully planning your route before heading out on the road
You can also invest in a GPS device specifically tailored to commercial truck drivers, which pose as a minimal distraction for vehicle operators — some even include daily roadway update and fuel logging features
You can also make sure to drive with care and caution, ensuring that you are prepared for unexpected road conditions
Always use your turn signals to communicate with other drivers
If you make a wrong turn or miss an exit, don’t begin to panic and do something reckless in an effort to find an immediate solution
Instead, wait until you have a chance to safely turn around and get back on track without posing a risk to yourself, or to the other drivers around you
Most importantly, be patient while you drive — it could mean the difference between a smooth trip and a devastating accident