Truck accidents are hazardous. Given the sheer size of most trucks on the road, they cause a lot of damage. An 18 wheeler or a dump truck is obviously going to cause more damage than a passenger car. The likelihood of serious injury and property damage increases significantly in a truck accident. There are several common contributing factors in truck accidents.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents: Slower Response Time
The first common cause of truck accidents is the slower response time of the vehicles. In your family car, you can avoid an accident much better than a large truck can. If someone starts to swerve into your lane on the highway, you can move over to avoid the collision. However, trucks respond slower to turning the wheel because of their greater mass and momentum. It is much less likely that a truck driver can use an evasive maneuver to avoid a collision than a driver of a passenger car.
Larger vehicles also take a longer time to come to a complete stop. The weight of the vehicle puts extra strain on the brakes. Many people that drive passenger cars use the space in front of a tractor trailer to change lanes. However, the drivers leave that space to allow for enough time to stop. Causing a truck driver to apply the breaks too hard could result in the truck jackknifing and causing serious damage to anyone in their path. This practice is a hazard for not only the truck driver but the driver of the passenger car as well.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents: Decreased Vision
If you drive on a regular basis, you see signs all the time warning you about the range of vision a truck driver has. The blind spots are much larger for a tractor trailer than a family sedan. Because of the larger blind spots, it is much more likely that a tractor trailer driver will not see you when they are trying to change lanes or make a turn. The limited range of vision is especially dangerous on a highway. A collision with an 18-wheeler at a high rate of speed will certainly result in serious damage.
The warning signs on trucks aren’t for their safety; they are for your safety. If you a driving near a large vehicle, it is best to give the driver the space that they need. This will help you avoid a potentially dangerous situation.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents: Fatigue
Another common cause of truck accidents is driver fatigue. If you have ever taken a long road trip, you understand how tiring sitting behind the wheel for hours on end can be. Now, imagine that your job was to drive all day every day. You can easily see how this may be taxing on a driver.
In addition to the fatigue of sitting behind the wheel all day, these drivers drive for extended periods of time. There are deadlines to meet, and deliveries must arrive on time to avoid penalties. Therefore, many drivers skirt around the law that governs how long someone can drive. To keep track, many truck drivers keep a written log. The problem with a written log is that they are easy to alter. It is difficult to police the length of time someone drives if the only check and balance is a log they write themselves. All of these factors contribute to drowsy tractor trailer drivers on the road, and drowsy drivers lead to accidents.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents: Lack of Respect
A large percentage of truck accidents are caused by the other driver. Drivers of passenger cars don’t give enough space to tractor trailers. Also, drivers frequently cut truck drivers off. This lack of respect for the much larger vehicle can end in disaster. If you are driving near an 18-wheeler, give them space. Don’t cut in front of them because you may miss your exit. You should treat these vehicles with the respect that they deserve. Afterall, in an accident with a truck, the truck driver will most often walk away unscathed, while you will likely suffer serious injuries.
After a Truck Accident
If you do end up in an accident with a truck and it isn’t your fault, call us immediately. Because of the fact that truck drivers are working while driving, there will be multiple parties responsible. Therefore, the insurance claim may be too confusing to handle on your own. The Law Office of David Morowitz has years of experience handle truck accident cases. We will help to ensure that you receive proper compensation from all of the responsible parties. After speaking with the police and gathering all of the information about the accident, call us, we can help.