Heavy trucks play an essential role in our economies. They transport food, fuel, and many other basic goods and necessities to our communities, and we depend on them.
However, truck safety is an ongoing concern and you can visit The Callahan Law Firm for more information about it. Accidents can happen, but when a heavy truck is involved, the consequences may be disastrous.
Smaller vehicle drivers and passengers are particularly vulnerable to severe injuries. People involved in truck crashes do not always survive in the worst-case situations. When such incidents occur, it is critical to obtain legal assistance.
Today, this article will discuss the common causes of truck accidents, safety tips for avoiding them, and what to do if a truck accident occurs. For more information on what to do in case of an accident, and how to find legal help, check out the Houston semi-trailer truck accident lawyer.
Table of Contents
Some common causes of truck accidents are mentioned below. The majority of fatal accidents involving large trucks are known to be caused by driver error.
1. Fatigue in truck drivers
In the trucking industry, fatigue is a significant problem. Truck drivers work for long hours and don’t always get enough sleep.
Many people rely on short naps when their body and need more sleep to return to their best. Driving when tired has the potential to be fatal.
2. Driving While Distracted
Reckless driving is also a significant problem. Anything that takes a driver’s mind away from driving or pulls the eyes away from traffic is a diversion. Texting while driving is said to enhance the risk of being involved in an accident.
Interacting with a dispatching system, writing things down, using a calculator, looking at a map, dialing a phone number, reading, personal hygiene, reaching for an item, and eating are all dangerous driving distractions. From outside the truck’s cab, disruptions such as looking at passing signage or building can also cause accidents.
3. Hazards at Working Zone
Since lanes may be blocked, narrowed, or moved, and traffic may slow or stop unexpectedly, work zones can make life difficult for truck drivers. Other traffic snarls, such as flaggers and work vehicles joining or leaving the flow, will add to the confusion.
The majority of work zone accidents are rear-ended collisions. Trucks need more stopping space than cars, which many drivers are unaware of. A large truck travelling at fifty-five mph needs approximately fifty percent more stopping distance than a car. A truck moving at a faster speed would need much more space to come to a halt.
Driving Near Trucks: Safety Tips
Some drivers are unaware that sharing the road with a truck is not like driving on the road with just another vehicle. It would be best if you take some care when sharing the road with trucks.
- Maintain your Visibility
Blind spots on trucks are more significant than on other vehicles. Avoid driving in these “no-drive” zones. If you can’t see the trucker in their side mirror, it’s safe to assume they can’t see you.
- Proceed with Caution
Pass through a truck while exercising utmost caution and always provide them plenty of space when doing so. Don’t pass trucks at a low speed because they tend to accelerate at any time and would require a significant stopping distance to avoid an imminent collision with your car.
- Avoid Cutting off Trucks
You may be in a blind spot if you drive in front of a truck too fast, and you may be struck. Remember that a truck needs more room than any other vehicle to come to a halt in an emergency.
- Tailgate is not a Good Idea
It’s not a good idea to sit on a truck’s bumper because you’ll end up in their blind spot. In the case of a collision, you also risk slipping under the vehicle. When stuck in traffic, keep your distance in case the truck reverses.
- Broad Turns should be Anticipated
Acknowledge that trucks need more maneuvering space and can swing big. Don’t block the package at intersections, and never try to squeeze between a turning truck and the roadside.
- Patience is needed
Big rigs don’t work in the same way that cars do, so acceleration can take longer. If you’re aggressive, you could trigger a diversion, which could cause an accident.
After a Truck Accident, What do you do?
Stay at the accident site before help arrives if you are involved in a truck accident. If you flee the scene, you might face criminal prosecution for what’s known as a “hit-and-run.” Pullover to the side of the road if you need to switch your car for safety reasons or because it is blocking traffic and it is drivable.
To ensure that all drivers can see you, switch on your hazard lights. To prevent injury, keep clear from the traffic. If you or someone else has acquired any injury, call for help straight away.
Provide first aid to anyone who needs it, but do not move someone who is injured unless they are in immediate danger. Obtain the names and insurance details of other people involved in the crash if possible.
Make notes of the accident site and circumstances at the time of the collision, such as the climate and the time. After a truck crash, you can gather the following information:
- The truck’s license plate, as well as any other distinguishing details.
- The employer’s name and the truck driver’s license number.
- Drivers’ and riders’ names and emails
- Details on the insurance provider as well as the policy figure.
- Eyewitness accounts’ names, contact information, and emails.
Snap photographs of the accident scene and damage with your smartphone if you are able to. This may be significant proof during the legal proceedings.
You may also want to make an audio recording of what occurred, but don’t admit or take responsibility for the accident. When the accident report becomes accessible, make sure to get a copy.
In most cases, you must seek legal counsel as early as possible. Since truck fatalities are more complicated than other types of car accidents, you can hire a lawyer who specializes in truck accident cases.
By conducting your accident investigation, experienced lawyers will assist you in the case. Working alongside specialists in accident reconstruction and medical and financial professionals, claims are filed with trucking firms and their insurers. This helps in getting your case ready for trial.