Even if you're not comfortable driving in close proximity to large commercial trucks, there's no way around this. These vehicles are everywhere, including the highways and city roads.
Understanding the most common causes of truck accidents can help you avoid trouble. Here are several things truckers often do that lead to an accident:
- Distracted driving: This can range from talking on a cellphone to reading a map to reaching for a drink or piece of food. Truckers must keep their attention on the road at all times.
- Drowsy driving: When a trucker spends too many consecutive hours on the road, they're more likely to fall asleep at the wheel. Even if a trucker remains awake, drowsy driving slows reaction time, thus increasing the risk of an accident.
- Driving under the influence: Alcohol, drugs and prescription medication can all cause a trucker to make poor decisions when behind the wheel.
- Reckless driving: You've probably come across a trucker who is not following the rules of the road. Common examples include excessive speeding and illegal passing.
- Lack of training: Trucking companies are expected to provide truckers with all the necessary training on things such as safety and driving technique. If they don't, a trucker may not have the knowledge necessary to prevent an accident.
You don't have control over these causes of truck accidents, but there are simple steps you can take to enhance your safety:
- Never drive in a trucker's blind spot, which includes the area directly behind and next to the vehicle
- Don't abruptly change lanes in front of a truck
- Don't drive in between two commercial trucks
- Take extra caution when merging onto the highway
- Never pass a truck in the right lane
By taking notice of every commercial truck in close proximity to your vehicle, it's easier to make decisions that will keep you safe.
If you're part of a car-truck accident, you shouldn't hesitate to receive medical attention. Due to the size difference in vehicles, it's possible you'll face injuries such as concussion, broken bones, abrasions and burns.
As you recover, review the police report to better understand what went wrong. Also, read your insurance policy before you contact your agent to make a claim. Doing all these things increases the likelihood of receiving the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.