Avoid Truck Accidents from a Kentucky Lawyer
Commercial trucks like big rigs and delivery trucks present unique dangers to smaller vehicles and their passengers. Not only do truck drivers need to be aware of the dangers presented by their large and unwieldy vehicles, but other drivers also need to use extra caution while driving in their presence. Seemingly minor driving errors, like failing to signal before passing, can result in serious catastrophe when an eighteen-wheeler is involved, especially at elevated speeds.
Below is a discussion of some common occurrences that can cause or contribute to commercial truck accidents.
Truck Accidents Caused By Passenger Vehicle Drivers
Passenger vehicles (primarily cars) drivers often are to blame for traffic accidents with big rigs or other large commercial trucks. One of the most common type of unsafe act committed by car drivers who get in collisions with large trucks has to do with ignorance of a truck’s performance capabilities, such as limits associated with acceleration braking and visibility.
Common unsafe acts committed by car drivers in the vicinity of large trucks, which often result in truck accidents, include:
- Unsafe passing, particularly passing with insufficient headway.
- Passing a truck, then being blown out of position by air turbulence or cross-wind.
- Pulling into traffic from the roadside in front of a truck without accelerating sufficiently.
- Driving between large trucks.
- Abandoning a vehicle in a travel lane, or failing to get a disabled vehicle completely off the highway and onto the shoulder.
- Driving in the “No-Zones” — the areas behind and beside a commercial truck where the truck driver has limited or zero visibility.
- Changing lanes abruptly in front of a truck.
- Maneuvering to the right of a truck that is making a right turn.
- Misjudging an approaching truck’s speed at an intersection, and making a left turn in front of the truck.
- Merging improperly into traffic, causing a truck to maneuver or brake quickly.
- Failure to slow down or speed up when a truck begins to change lanes or merge.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) provides an online video discussing the unsafe driving acts of motorists in the vicinity of large trucks.
Truck Accidents Caused by Commercial Truck Drivers
Big rig and other commercial truck drivers are skilled and patient drivers, for the most part. Certain tests, and permits ensure this is true. However, in addition to the dangers inherent in the size and weight of the trucks used in commercial transportation and shipping, a number of characteristics inherent in the business can contribute to traffic accidents. These include:
- Inadequate training as to driving technique, safety concerns, and defensive driving.
- Systems of compensation that encourage faster vehicle speeds and more hours of consecutive vehicle operation than would normally be advisable.
- Unrealistic schedules and expectations of trucking companies that encourage drivers to hurry, despite safety risks involved.
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– Source at: http://injury.findlaw.com/car-accidents/common-causes-of-commercial-truck-accidents.html#sthash.LtcoPC1K.dpuf