When it comes to auto accidents, trucks pose an increased danger to other vehicles on the road. Due to the severity of damage a truck accident can cause on the roadways, truck drivers have different rules of the road to follow. Truckers also need a special type of license to drive both a commercial truck or transportation vehicle. Even the smallest of accidents can become a great catastrophe when trucks are involved.
The most common causes of truck accidents are not what you would typically consider. Usually the blame in a truck-driving accident falls on car drivers who are unaware of the limitations of truck operators when it comes to visibility and how much control they have over their big rig. Not many car drivers understand how difficult it is to maneuver around a truck or that trucks have specific limitations for both acceleration and braking.
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In general, truck accidents are caused by unsafe acts by car drivers, which include:
- When cars drive in the areas either beside or behind a commercial truck where there is either limited visibility or none at all. These zones are called “no-zones”
- When cars change lanes quickly and cut truck drivers off
- Getting in front of a truck in the right lane when the truck is attempting to make a right turn
- A motorist underestimating a truck’s speed and making a left turn on a red in front of them
- Not merging properly onto freeways and highways
- Overestimating a truck’s ability to stop quickly
- Not slowing down and allowing a truck to change lanes when they need to, or speeding up to try to get in front of them
- Not using passing lanes appropriately or passing unsafely to get ahead of a truck
- Underestimating the air turbulence caused when a car tries to pass a truck and is thrown off-balance
- Pulling in front of a truck without giving them sufficient time to brake or slow down
- Driving too closely behind a truck or being sandwiched in between two of them
- Not pulling over completely when they need to pull over, whether due to mechanical error or just pulling over to do something. If you don’t leave enough room when you pull your car over, it could force a truck to make a quick movement that can result in an accident
When trucks are at fault in automobile accidents
It isn’t always the car driver’s fault when a truck is in an accident. There are common things that truck drivers that can also lead to accidents, Commercial truck drivers and big-rig operators have the necessary skills to be safe on the road, but that doesn’t always mean that they use those skills or that they make smart decisions when driving.
Things that commonly cause accidents due to truck drivers’ actions are:
- Not taking the proper precautions to drive defensively, disregarding the safety of those around them, or using inappropriate driving techniques
- Driving too fast due to time constraints or not getting the proper amount of rest in between routes because they have incentives to make more money by increasing their workload. That can lead to exhaustion and poor decision-making ability or delayed responses
- Trying to keep unrealistic schedules, which forces them to make poor decisions
When it comes to a truck accident, it is sometimes difficult to tell who was at fault because the damage can be so extensive. That is why it is imperative that motorists take special care when they are driving around trucks, and that trucks follow the rules of the road that specifically pertain to them.
Excessive speeding by truck drivers, trying to make tight schedules, and lack of sleep are all recipes for disaster when it comes to the trucking industry. When someone is in a trucking accident, it is rarely the case that it is just a fender-bender or that no one gets hurt.
If you are involved in an accident, whether you are a truck driver or a motorist, it is important that you seek the advice of a truck accident lawyer Houston, to decipher who is at fault and to recover for your damages and injuries.