While more common causes of trucking accidents, such as rollovers or car accident collisions, cause many injuries and deaths each year, at least some of the 500,000 large truck accidents on our roads each year are caused by more esoteric reasons. Truck accidents caused by these rarer causes can also cause serious personal injuries and fatalities, so these dangers need to be considered as well:
1) Wind and road conditions. High winds, especially on bridges, can increase he likelihood of a truck accident or rollover. High winds can push on a truck with extreme force, especially if a truck is traveling very fast, and this force can cause a truck driver to lose control. When high winds are combined with poor road conditions, this combination can prove especially lethal.
2) Animals. Animals run into roadways all the time and when a truck swerves to avoid an animal, accidents often occur. A truck driver swerving to miss an animal can crash into other cars or rollover, causing serious injuries, including brain injuries. In some cases, even striking a larger animal can cause injuries to a truck driver. Since many truck drivers tend to drive at dusk and later in the evening to meet deadlines, they are especially subject to accidents involving animals, as these are the times when animals tend to be most active.
3) Objects in the Road. Foreign objects on the road – including tree branches, stopped vehicles, and other items – can be a hazard for all drivers. A truck driver traveling down a dark road might not see some larger objects until it is too late and this can cause a serious accident. A larger object can cause a truck to swerve or can cause a collision or rollover accident.
4) Unusual weather patterns. Mudslides, earthquakes, and other natural disasters can occur in an instant, and when they do truck drivers are at the mercy of the elements. A truck driver driving full speed at the time of an earthquake or mudslide will usually lose control of the vehicle. A mudslide can cover the windshield with debris, making it impossible for the driver to see. An earthquake can damage the road under the truck, can create large gaps in the roadway, and can shake a truck off the road entirely.
5) “Phantoms.” A small number of truck accidents each year are caused by things which cannot be explained. Truck drivers report seeing objects which are not there upon investigation. While some people attribute this to various odd phenomena – and while there are many urban myths about truck drivers encountering ghosts on the road – in many cases, these incidents may be caused by excessive fatigue, which can cause hallucinations. Truck drivers may also react to shadows or atmospheric phenomena on the roads.