Californians who share the road with large trucks may feel some trepidation about it. These large vehicles can cause a lot of problems if they run into issues on the road. Here are some important pieces of potentially useful information that can help you understand what leads to trucking crashes, which may help you spot warning signs in advance.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has a page dedicated to the study on what causes crashes for large trucks. Many of the causes are related to human error. They break it down into five categories: alcohol and drug use, fatigue, overspeeding and overtaking, distracted driving, and poor truck maintenance or driver training.

The first four categories are related to the actions of the driver themselves. Distracted driving, speeding, overtaking other cars, and using drugs or alcohol before driving are all choices on behalf of the driver. Fatigued driving is also a driver’s choice but it can differ a bit in that the stringent demands of the trucking industry often encourage or even reward this behavior. Drivers are expected to do more work in less time and often don’t have the chance to properly rest.

Poor driver training and truck maintenance can involve the truck driver, the parent company, or other levels of management depending on whose job it is to maintain the fleet. Many people are responsible for checking the safety of a truck before it is given to a driver. If these checks aren’t done properly, a driver could easily take out a dangerous vehicle without knowing. Additionally, some management may try to cut costs through training, which can lead to further risk.