Danger on the Highway: A Closer Look at Trucking Accidents
Car, motorcycle, and even pedestrian accidents are commonplace, and sometimes these accidents can lead to serious injury and even death, but what happens when a passenger vehicle is involved in an accident with a truck?
The Serious Nature of Trucking Accidents
Estimates show around 5,000 Americans die as a result of accidents with trucks each year, and of course that number climbs much higher when looking at the occurrence of serious injuries. In fact, what may even be more startling is that trucks are involved in 500,000 roadway accidents annually.
So why are these accidents so much more serious than even a standard motor vehicle accident?
Well, the answer lies primarily in the sheer size of trucks that are all over the highway and roadways.
When the enormous size of a truck is then combined with a driver who may be tired, along with high speeds, the results are often disastrous.
Common Reasons Truck Accidents Occur
As mentioned, one of the biggest contributing factors to the rise in trucking accidents is driver fatigue. Drivers are expected to work long hours, and fatigue has been shown to be almost as dangerous as driving while impaired.
Other common reasons include mechanical issues, or other passenger cars that may shift into the trucker’s lane, causing a significant accident.
What If You’re In an Accident with A Truck
Accidents involving trucks are extremely complex, because there’s a company behind the trucker, providing support and legal counsel.
In fact, many trucking companies have entire departments solely dedicated to handling these accidents, which can become intimidating for a victim, or the family of a victim.
If you’re able, it’s important to take immediate action at the scene of an accident, including taking photographs and getting all necessary information.
The best course of action, regardless of the situation, is hire a personal injury attorney who has experience with trucking accidents, and is equipped to deal with not only the complexities, but also the actual trucking company.
Preventing Truck Accidents
The best thing you can do as a driver is be proactive, cautious, and drive defensively to avoid becoming involved in a truck accident.
- Always be alert when trucks are driving close to you. Try to anticipate what the driver is going to do, and don’t treat a truck as you would another driver of a car.
- Don’t put yourself in a position to be in a truck’s blind spot. If you can’t see the truck’s side mirrors, the driver can’t see you.
- Large trucks need a lot more space to stop, so never cut them off.
- Give trucks extra space during hazardous conditions.
- Always go about passing the correct way, including maintaining a consistent speed.
The best method to approach truck accidents is prevention. More and more trucks enter the highway system each year, and the results of becoming involved in these accidents not only lead to debilitating injuries, but also death.
Always be aware when you’re on the road, and pay particular attention to trucks.