By now, you know that around 500,000 truck accidents occur in the United States—with around one out of eight accidents leading to death or severe injury. Due to their large sizes and heavyweights, commercial trucks are likely to cause more damage compared to other commercial vehicles.
According to the department of transportation, there are currently around 15.5 million trucks in the U.S, and when people are injured or die because of a mistake by the driver, it can result in very high settlements. Commercial truck accidents settlements total to about $20 billion per year with around half of that money being compensation to the injured. It is not in all cases where the accidents could have been avoidable and such high amounts in settlements can prove disastrous to any trucking business.
What Causes Most Commercial Truck Accidents?
Nearly 90% of the accidents are caused by human errors or negligence. Truck accidents can happen anywhere and anytime on the road. However, it was discovered that most commercial truck accidents happened on long-haul trips—where the driver is traveling 51 miles or more to get to the destination. Below are some of the common causes of truck accidents according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety:
- Brake problems: 29%
- Driving too fast for given conditions: 23%
- Driver not being familiar with the roadway: 22%
- Problems with the roadway: 20%
- Over-the-counter drug use by the truck driver: 17%
- Poor surveillance: 14%
- Fatigue: 13%
- Pressure to work from the carrier: 10%
- The driver making an illegal turn or maneuver: 9%
- Driver not paying enough attention: 9%
So, What Should You Do When Your Truck Is Involved in an Accident?
As we all know, you should first contact the relevant authorities to report the accident. Secondly, you should contact your insurer to inform them about the accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that all commercial trucks be insured. Trucks that transport heavy goods must have an insurance cover of around $750 thousand and $5 million, and this amount only covers the incident and not the person.
Different insurance companies offer different rates and hence the staggering difference in the above amounts. However, a variety of factors come into play when determining the insurance rates to be paid per year, some of which include:
- The type of cargo that you transport – hazardous material such as fuel and chemicals will cost higher premiums.
- The value of the truck – in determining the physical damage premium, a percentage of your truck value is used to calculate the figure. If your truck has a higher value, then the more premium you will pay.
- The distance you transport the goods- Longer distances mean that you have a higher exposure to risk hence higher rates are paid.
- The weight of the freight- Heavyweights equal to higher rates.
- Coverage limit– a higher coverage limit means a higher premium rate and vice versa.
Which Commercial Truck Insurance Coverage Is the Best for You?
If disaster strikes, you’d want to be on the safer side when compensating those involved and getting compensation for the damages sustained by the truck. For example:
- Primary liability- covers damages that happen to others because of your driving.
- Physical damage- covers for damages caused by natural disaster, collision, vandalism, and theft that results in actual physical damage of the truck.
- General liability- covers a majority of what is not covered by primary liability. It applies to the business itself and not the trucks.
If you are a business or individual looking for the best commercial truck insurance rates out there, look no further, call us today on (844) 961-6161 or fill out our contact form to request a free quote for your hauling business coverage and learn more about the options available to you.