In accidents involving two or more cars, they commonly involve one vehicle running a red light, losing control while speeding, or a distracted driver. When it comes to accidents with large trucks, there are additional accident risks unique to these vehicles.
1. Accidents Involving Blind Spots
According to a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted in 2015, just over 3,850 people died in crashes that involved a large truck. Sixty-nine percent of the fatalities were occupants of smaller cars. One of the most common accident scenarios involving trucks and cars relates to the blind spots found on large trucks. Truck drivers operate their vehicles with three separate blind spots, one in the very front of the truck, one in the back, and one beside the right-hand door of the truck. Not everyone knows this, which is why accidents can occur when a car driver stays in one of these spots for an extended period of time.
2. Tired Drivers
At first glance, many people believe that driving a truck would be an easy task. However, the reality is that truck drivers must arrive at their destinations by strict deadlines, which invariably means driving lengthy hours without many breaks. Even for experienced truck drivers, driving long distances on hardly any sleep can cause them to lose focus and veer into other lanes. A brief moment of nodding off can cause a large accident and is one of the more common reasons for accidents involving trucks and cars. If ever you notice a truck driver who seems dazed or inattentive you can do any or all of the following:
● Honk your horn several times
● Make signals to the driver that indicate they should pull over
● Drive quickly away
● Call 911 and report an unsafe driver with a description and location of the vehicle
3. Poor Road Conditions
Another common accident scenario involving trucks and cars is when there are poor road conditions. While icy and wet conditions are dangerous for any vehicle to drive on, these conditions are especially hazardous to large trucks, as up to 18 wheels will have to be properly maintained. Poor weather conditions can lead to accidents where the truck spins out of control or skids into another vehicle, which is why it’s always recommended to stay at least five seconds away from a truck during tricky conditions.
4. Changing Lanes Too Quickly
One of the most common causes for accidents with trucks and cars is when a car attempts to switch lanes too quickly. Since large trucks have massive blind spots to their sides and rear, a car that switches lanes too quickly will likely not be seen by the truck. Trucks also require more time to slow down than smaller vehicles, so it’s definitely ill-advised to pull in front of a truck too quickly when the roads are busy.
5. Passing When a Truck is Turning Right
Many car drivers spot a truck turning right and decide to pass it by moving around them in the left lane. However, this is extremely dangerous and is a common cause for accidents. The reason is because trucks will steer widely to the left in order to safely turn right, which means that your vehicle could easily be swiped when attempting to pass the truck.
If you’ve been in an accident involving a truck, contact an a trucking accident lawyer trusts immediately to determine if you may have a valid claim or lawsuit against the trucker and their trucking company.