Driving a passenger vehicle can be dangerous when you are in close proximity to commercial trucks. But you probably have no choice but to share the road with these vehicles every day.
Since you have to drive near trucks all the time, it is important to understand the primary causes of car-truck accidents. This knowledge can help keep you safe, even in dangerous situations.
Causes of injuries and fatalities on the road
Commercial truck accidents kill and seriously injure motorists every day. Here are some of the more common causes of collisions involving trucks:
- Drowsy driving and fatigue that can occur when a trucker is on the road for longer than allowed by federal law
- Reckless driving, which takes on many forms, including speeding, failure to signal, dangerous lane changes and failure to account for traffic and weather conditions
- Distracted driving, with common forms including texting, drinking, eating and talking on a cell phone
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescription medications
- Inadequate driver training, which can fall back on the trucking company
- Unrealistic delivery schedules, often the result of a trucking company wanting a driver to reach his or her destination sooner than expected
These are not the only causes of commercial truck accidents, but they are among the most common. When you’re familiar with the hazards, you can more easily avoid truckers who may be driving irresponsibly.
If you are hurt in an accident
If you are part of a commercial truck accident, you should attempt to move your car to a safe area away from traffic. However, if this is impossible because of an injury or a disabled vehicle, stay where you are until help arrives.
You’ll want to get immediate medical treatment, even if you’re not feeling poorly. Some injuries, such as concussions and neck injuries, don’t always present immediate symptoms.
Once you’ve received treatment, you can learn more about the cause of the accident, who was at fault and what your legal rights are. This will help you decide what to do next.