Driver Safety Tips to Help Mitigate Trucking Accidents


There are more than 168,000 truck accidents every year, with about 32% involving an injury and around 3% resulting in a fatality, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Texas had the most truck accidents in 2022, with California, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Illinois rounding out the top five states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in three long-haul truckers will be involved in a serious truck accident during their career.

Trucking Accidents Costs and Lawsuits

Trucking companies facing litigation for small verdicts and settlements (under $1 million) can expect $406,000 to $449,000 in plaintiff payments 95% of the time. For cases over $1 million, the mean plaintiff payment was $3.1 million as of 2019, according to the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI).

In reviewing the percentage of cases that yielded verdicts of more than $1 million, 100% of cases were ruled in favor of the plaintiff when the case involved hours of service (HOS) issues, driver history issues, controlled substance use, health-related issues, or improper actions after the crash (like leaving the scene or not calling 911), according to the ATRI.

Accident-Prevention Measures

Here are several safety practices to follow and to share with your drivers:

  • Adhere to HOS regulations to prevent driver fatigue. Take required rest breaks and ensure compliance with maximum driving hours.
  • Conduct thorough pre-trip and post-trip vehicle inspections to promptly identify and address any mechanical issues. Ensure tires, brakes, lights, and other essential components are in optimal condition.
  • Stay focused on the road and avoid distractions such as using mobile phones, eating, or engaging in activities that take attention away from driving.
  • Keep a safe following distance from other vehicles to allow for adequate braking distance in case of sudden stops. The recommended following distance is at least one truck length for every 10 mph of speed.
  • Adjust driving speed and behavior based on weather conditions. Driver slower in rain, snow, or fog, and maintain increased stopping distances.
  • Use turn signals well in advance of lane changes or turns. Check blind spots regularly, especially when merging or changing lanes.
  • Adhere to speed limits, traffic signals, and other traffic laws. Avoid aggressive driving behaviors such as tailgating or weaving between lanes.
  • Ensure cargo is properly secured and distributed to prevent shifting during transit. Follow proper loading and securing procedures.
  • Stay updated on current road conditions, construction zones, and traffic alerts. Plan routes to avoid potential hazards or delays.
  • Be proactive in anticipating potential hazards and reacting in a way that prevents accidents. Stay aware of the actions of other drivers on the road.
  • Schedule regular breaks to combat driver fatigue. Short breaks can help improve alertness and reduce the risk of accidents.
  • Adjust mirrors properly and use them effectively to monitor surrounding traffic. Be aware of the “No-Zone” areas around the truck where visibility is limited
  • Prioritize physical and mental well-being. Adequate sleep, regular exercise, and a healthy diet contribute to overall driver health and alertness.
  • Be prepared for emergencies. Know the location of emergency exits, fire extinguishers, and emergency contact information. Stay calm and follow proper procedures in case of an emergency.

In addition, provide ongoing driver training so that everyone remains updated on the latest safety regulations, best practices, and technological advancements in the industry. Also, take advantage of safety technologies such as collision avoidance systems, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control to enhance overall safety. 

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is an insurance brokerage specializing in commercial truck insurance. We know this stuff and want to make sure you do, too. Our clients appreciate our dedication to finding competitive rates and offering unparalleled service beyond excellent insurance options. They also value how our state-of-the-art automation provides lightning-fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more.