According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), most large truck accident deaths occur in the passenger vehicles that collide with the truck.
If a truck careers out of control, the truck driver is usually much safer than anyone they collide with. The driver sits high up in the cab, and any other vehicles they collide with have to deal with the truck’s devastating force.
So, how do you avoid a truck accident?
In this guide, we will explain the common causes of truck accidents, how to avoid them, and how to get the right help if you’ve been involved in one.
Truck Accidents – Why Do They Happen?
One of the main reasons why truck crashes happen is driver error. However, poorly maintained trucks and secured aspects on a truck can cause serious accidents.
Five common causes in summary include:
- Distracted driving
- Driver Fatigue
- Driving Under the Influence
- Overtaking and Speeding
- Poor Maintenance and Training
To avoid truck accidents, it’s good to know these causes and then be very cautious when driving near trucks on any road type.
1. Distracted Driving
Since truckers drive for very long and tedious periods, there is the problem of distracted driving.
A trucker may feel confident in their cab to the point where they might take their eyes off the road to check on their phone, grab some food, or change a playlist. The problem is that split seconds count when driving, and even momentary lapses in concentration can cause an incident.
2. Driver Fatigue
Truck drivers have massive amounts of pressure put on them to get their goods delivered on time. Many drivers skip breaks and drive tired to get their job done in time.
But when a driver feels tired, they can become complacent, and their reactions can slow down to potential hazards on the road. Even worse, sleep-deprived truckers traveling long haul can fall asleep at the wheel!
3. Driving Under the Influence
Unfortunately, there is a high rate of drug and alcohol abuse among truckers. Given the long and boring hours of driving, many drivers resort to using amphetamines or other illegal stimulants to keep their concentration levels high.
Although these stimulating drugs might keep truckers alert, they can also have other side effects where the trucker might start speeding or carrying out unpredictable behaviors.
4. Overtaking and Speeding
A passenger car is much more agile and responsive when compared to a truck.
So when a truck driver attempts risky maneuvers such as overtaking or speeding, they put everyone on the road at serious risk.
5. Poor Maintenance and Training
Some truckers haven’t undertaken the minimum required training hours needed to drive legally.
Drivers may feel confident in their abilities, but they might not have experience in bad weather conditions. Driving too fast in wet weather can cause a truck to hydroplane or even jackknife on the highway.
What If You’ve Already Been in a Truck Accident?
Obviously, after getting any necessary medical attention, you need to find a reputable truck accident lawyer to represent you. Or it could be that you are looking out for someone else’s interests?
With experience on their side, these specialist attorneys know to help you put forward your case and win.
All drivers should be very vigilant and careful when driving near trucks, as truck accidents can happen in split seconds. If you’re in a much smaller vehicle, you won’t stand a chance with the damage that a truck could cause you.
If you, a friend, or a loved one have experienced a truck accident, you need to seek professional guidance. It may be that you are entitled to compensation for any problems or suffering incurred, and standard lawyers might not manage to get you this.
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