No one likes driving near a large truck; however, it’s an everyday part of life for many motorists.
To protect yourself when sharing the road with semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles, you should understand the various truck accident causes and the steps you can take to avoid them.
While you can’t avoid every accident, by understanding the risks trucks pose, you can adjust your driving habits in hopes of steering clear of a truck accident.
Below is a list of the seven most common truck accident causes.
Most trucking companies pay truck drivers by the mile. While this makes sense on some level, it also incentivizes drivers to cover as much ground as they can each day.
Thus, it is common for truck drivers to stay on the road well past the point that fatigue sets in.
Drowsy drivers are less attentive, have a slower reaction time, and suffer from compromised decision-making abilities.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the effects of fatigued driving are roughly equivalent to drunk driving.
Distracted driving is one of the most common truck accident causes. Truck drivers spend almost their whole day behind the wheel.
Some truck drivers looking to pass the time more quickly engage in dangerous activities while driving, such as watching television, scrolling social media on their phones, talking, or texting.
This removes a driver’s attention from the road, increasing the chance they won’t notice slowing traffic or a car that pulls in front of them.
Improperly Secured Loads
When fully loaded, most semi-trucks weigh about 80,000 pounds, most of which is cargo.
If a truck driver, trucking company, or warehouse worker fails to properly secure a load, it can shift and cause the driver to lose control of the truck.
Improperly secured loads may also break free of their restraints and spill onto the road, creating a major hazard for anyone behind the truck.
While all cars and trucks have blind spots, most motorists underestimate the size of semi-truck blind spots.
For example, most truck drivers cannot see for 20 to 30 feet ahead and behind the truck and for almost the entire length of the sides of the truck.
This can lead to a truck driver changing lanes into another driver who has nowhere to go to avoid a collision.
If you have driven on the highway often, you’ve probably seen those mangled masses of rubber on the shoulder.
These are blown-out tires, usually from semi-trucks.
Truck drivers and trucking companies have a duty to inspect a truck’s tires each time the truck heads out on a trip.
The failure to perform this basic safety check increases the chance of a tire blowout, which may cause the truck driver to lose control of the rig.
Even when a truck’s brakes operate as designed, it can still take the truck up to the length of two football fields to come to a complete stop.
However, if a truck’s brakes are worn, stopping can take significantly longer.
Truck drivers with worn or defective brakes may find it almost impossible to stop in time to avoid a collision.
Semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles frequently reach lengths of up to 80 feet. As a result, they need extra room when making turns.
This means that trucks may pull farther into the intersection or swing out of their lane of travel when making a turn.
If a truck driver doesn’t see a motorist, pedestrian, or cyclist on the road, they can easily be struck by the side of the truck.
Have You Been Injured in a Colorado Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently suffered injuries in a truck accident, the Colorado personal injury attorneys at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC can help.
At the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we offer our clients expert representation and personalized attention to ensure that their case receives the attention it deserves.
Over the past seven years, we’ve recovered more than $50 million on behalf of our clients and their families.
To learn more and schedule a free consultation with a Colorado truck accident lawyer, call 303-529-2865 today.
You can also connect with our injury lawyers through our online contact form.