Commercial delivery trucks and big rigs present inimitable dangers to cars and their passengers. Not only do car drivers need to be more careful when on the road in their presence, but truck drivers also need to take care and use extra caution on the roads. Small driving errors, like failing to signal when switching lanes on a highway, can lead to catastrophic accidents and fatalities.
In this article, we’re going to explore the most common causes of truck accidents, from both a small vehicle and truck standpoint.
Truck Accidents Caused by Small Vehicles
Drivers of small vehicles, in particular cars, are often to blame for the truck accidents that we see on our roads. The most common reason for small vehicles to be at fault is driver error, most notably failing to understand a truck driver’s braking and visibility limits. The most common unsafe acts committed by car drivers are as follows:
- Driving between two large trucks
- Pulling in front of a truck without accelerating sufficiently, such as when pulling onto the highway.
- Passing a truck while failing to account for cross wind, and being blown across the road in the turbulence.
- Passing a truck unsafely
- Failing to accelerate or brake correctly when two lanes merge or a truck changes lanes.
- Merging into another lane unsafely when a truck is the vehicle behind.
- Making a left turn at an intersection failing to judge the truck’s speed.
- Changing lanes abruptly
- Driving in the area behind a truck where the truck driver has no visibility.
- Abandoning a broken-down car or failing to get it over to the hard shoulder safely.
Truck Accidents Caused by Truck Drivers
Although truck drivers are, on the most part, safe and patient drivers, some accidents are also caused by them. These include:
- Driver tiredness and fatigue, often caused by trucking companies placing too much pressure and impossible time limits on their drivers.
- Driving faster than is normally recommended, especially during peak driving hours when the roads are busy.
- Poor driving techniques, often caused by inadequate training related to technique and defensive driving.
In addition to the above, trucking companies are also responsible for ensuring their trucks are well maintained and pose no risk to their drivers and the other passengers on the road. It is also advised that all truck drivers take periodic driving courses to refresh their skills and learn new techniques for avoiding distracted driving.
Whether you are a truck driver or a small vehicle driver, if you have been involved in a truck accident, you may be able to claim compensation for the damage caused and any medical bills you’ve had to pay. You’ll want to speak to a truck accident attorney rather than a general traffic attorney as they will be able to advise you on whether the accident was your fault and how to get the compensation you deserve.
Truck accidents are unfortunately becoming more common in the United States, however with the proper education, these accidents can be minimized.