Common Causes of Accidents Involving Trucks
Incidents on the road involving large trucks come with additional risk factors. Accidents are more likely to occur with large trucks than with cars because they are larger and heavier which makes them more difficult to stop and maneuver. In addition, the drivers operating these trucks are usually tired and overworked which can hinder some reactions and capabilities when incidents arise. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more than 60 percent of accidents in the U.S. involve truck drivers. Some of the commonly cited reasons for accidents involving large trucks are listed below.
Because of the large size and length of semi trucks, the drivers operating these trucks have more blind spots than the average driver. Three of the most common blind spots presented by semi trucks are in front of the truck, behind the truck and immediately next to and below the passenger side door. If a driver cannot see that a car or object is in any of these areas, then accidents become very likely. Infact, more than 65 percent of injuries in accidents involving large trucks were sustained by those driving smaller cars. Because you have little control over the truck driver, it is wise to avoid driving in a truck driver’s blind spot for an extended amount of time.
Quickly Changing Lanes
Accidents can result from both a smaller car and a large truck changing lanes too quickly. Because it takes a semi truck more time and power to slow down, and accident can easily occur if a car pulls out in front of a large truck. It’s important that cars on the road are considerate of this and make sure they use their turn signal and allow for plenty of space and time before pulling in front of a large truck. Additionally, since large trucks have so many blind spots, they likely cannot see every car around them when they or someone else is trying to change lanes. If you see a truck with its turn signal on, it is wise to move out of the space they are intending to move to, because they may not see you.
Truck drivers are tasked with transporting goods across long distances with a strict deadline. This results in truck drivers driving for many hours without stopping. For many drivers, even the most experienced, this can cause fatigue, which can hinder the awareness and abilities of a driver. In addition, dozing off behind the wheel of a large truck can cause the driver to drift out of his lane, thus, causing collisions. If you ever notice a semi truck swaying or drifting from his lane, you should honk your horn to get their attention while keeping a safe distance. In other cases, it may be necessary to call the police with the location and description of the vehicle, so that they can act to prevent any potential dangers.
Passing a Truck While it is Turning Right
When a truck driver has his turn signal on and significantly slows down to turn right off of a road, many cars are tempted to pass the truck on its left side. This can be dangerous, however, because large trucks typically take very wide turns, often steering into the left lane. A truck can easily hit a car trying to pass them in situations like this. If you are behind a truck while it is making a turn, it is important to be patient in order to avoid a potential accident.
In 2015, more than 3,800 people were killed in car crashes involving a large truck. Large trucks are necessary for transportation, but can also be very dangerous; it’s important that everyone on the road is careful and plays their part to help prevent such accidents. If you are injured in an accident involving a semi truck, you may be entitled to compensation for these damages. A truck accident lawyer such as the Virginia truck accident lawyer can help review your case and determine the best course of action for your situation.
Thanks to Authors at Martin Wren P.C. for their insight into Personal Injury Law.