Accidents involving trucks have been on a sharp increase in recent years. Collisions between large commercial trucks and passenger cars can damage property or severe injuries, which can even lead to death.
Trucks have some characteristics that create a high risk for accidents to take place. Due to the difference in size and weight between trucks and other motor vehicles, it is not a surprise that fatalities can occur on the road.
Trucks also require a greater stopping distance compared to other vehicles. The trucks can also roll over smaller vehicles. These are not the only causes of truck accidents, as a significant percentage of the accidents occur due to passenger vehicle accidents.
Here are a few reasons why truck accidents happen:
Truck Driver Fatigue
Driver fatigue is a leading factor in truck accidents. It is often a result of the long-distance covered and being on the road for too long. When your body is tired, you are more likely to make mistakes on the road as your concentration is not at its best. In order to prevent fatigued drivers, there are hours of service requirements in place. It is a violation of the regulations for a driver or the employers to push against these limits.
Truck Driver Distraction
A lot of accidents happen due to the truck driver being distracted by some things. It can be anything ranging from food or drink, passengers, outdoor scenery, or even a mobile device. As a driver, you need to pay full attention to the road and avoid all distractions. Your eyes should be fixed on the road and both your hands on the steering wheel.
Most law enforcement forces take a strong stance against the use of mobile phones while driving, and as a result, cell phones have been subsequently banned in some states. The use of a cell phone can be viewed as a violation resulting in penalties.
In some instances, accidents occur due to mechanical failure when the parts on the truck fail to operate as they should. Defective or worn-out brakes can lead to accidents as the truck can no longer stop. A tire blowout can also cause serious accidents as the truck may overturn. It is essential to ensure the vehicle is maintained regularly and that all the parts are working correctly to avoid accidents.
While it is true that some accidents can be impossible to avoid, no matter how experienced or cautious you are, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk. You can take several measures to ensure the risk of being involved in a truck accident is kept to a minimum.
Here are a few tips to avoid truck accidents:
Trucks are large and therefore have more prominent blind spots compared to other vehicles. Driving in a truck’s blind spot can lead to accidents. A sure way to know if you are in a truck’s blind spot is to check the truck’s side mirrors. If you are unable to see the driver’s face in the mirror, the driver cannot see you either. Despite your best efforts to exercise caution, accidents can still occur due to the other driver’s negligence. In this case, you might need a St Louis truck accident lawyer to provide legal advice. It is also much safer to pass a truck on the driver’s side since they have a wider blind spot on the passenger side.
Maintain a Greater Following Distance
It would be best always to allow enough space when following a truck. Since a car is more prominent than an average vehicle, driving close behind a larger vehicle limits the road ahead. By following a car too closely, you cannot see slow traffic, construction, or other hazardous travel conditions. Maintaining adequate following distance between you and the truck ahead of you ensures you have more time to react if something unexpected happens.
Avoid Distracted Driving
Although driving on the highway can be a long and tedious experience, you should not let yourself become fatigued or distracted while driving. You should avoid all forms of distractions and remain focused on the road. Planning can be helpful. It would help to have everything you need already sorted out to prevent last-minute fiddling in the vehicle.
Be Cautious When a Truck is Turning
Since a truck is more extensive than most vehicles, it needs more clearance to turn than a car. The truck driver also has less visibility of their surroundings. When trying to judge how much space a truck will need to clear a turn, be sure to allow more room and exercise great caution.
Some accidents are beyond our control and will still occur despite our best efforts at avoiding the accidents. However, you can take a few precautions to minimize the risk of truck accidents.