The more time you spend on the interstate, the more you’ll realize there is no way to avoid commercial trucks. For example, I-95 is crowded with these vehicles (among many other types).
As a driver, you should fully understand the most common causes of truck accidents. This knowledge does not guarantee you will never be part of a crash, but it can definitely help improve your odds.
Here are some of the most common causes of commercial truck accidents:
- Drowsy driving, such as when a trucker doesn’t take mandatory breaks
- Distracted driving, including things such as texting, talking on the phone and reading a map
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescription drugs
- Inadequate training regarding safety procedures, defensive driving and technique
- Unrealistic schedules set by the trucking company
- Any form of reckless driving, such as speeding
- Improper loading
- Lack of regular and scheduled maintenance
By now, you realize that a trucker can make many mistakes that cause trouble on the road.
While you don’t have any control over these drivers, you are responsible for everything that happens in your vehicle. Here are some things you should do:
- Avoid driving in a trucker’s blind spot
- Never pass a truck in the right lane or on the shoulder of the road
- After you pass a truck, leave plenty of space before pulling back into the right lane
- Be careful when merging onto the interstate in front of a truck
- Don’t drive between two trucks
- If you must pull to the side of the road, get as far away from traffic as possible
You may find it difficult to get into the habit of following these safety tips, but once you adjust your approach, it will soon become second nature.
In the event of a truck accident you should immediately turn all your attention to your well-being. Injuries are common, so make sure you call 911 and wait for help to arrive at the scene.
Once you receive treatment and understand your injuries, learn more about the accident, why it happened and the steps you can take to protect your legal rights.