Semitrucks provide a valuable service to everyone across the country. These massive vehicles transport goods from one coast to the other and this undertaking comes with great risks. For example, other vehicles can be crushed by large tractor-trailers in the event of a collision.
When a crash occurs, the cause becomes one of the focal points of a related investigation. It’s possible that the trucker was at fault, but there’s also a chance that other drivers may have also contributed to the injurious circumstances in question.
Common causes of semitruck crashes
There are more than 11 million registered commercial vehicles in this country. It’s up to the driver of each of them to ensure they drive safely. Understanding these causes of semitruck crashes can help victims (both truck operators and other travelers alike) to determine who should be held liable in the event that they sustain injuries in a truck crash. Common causes of such collisions include:
- Distracted driving: Distractions such as texting, eating or using navigation systems can divert drivers’ attention from the road, increasing the risk of accidents. This issue affects both semitruck drivers and other road users.
- Aggressive driving: Tailgating, speeding, frequent lane changes and other aggressive driving behaviors can lead to accidents. This is a particularly dangerous approach when engaged in near semitrucks, due to their size and minimal maneuverability.
- Driver fatigue: Both semitruck drivers and other drivers on the road can become fatigued, especially during long journeys. Fatigue impairs alertness, reaction time and decision-making abilities, which can lead to crashes.
- Inappropriate merging and lane changes: Both semitruck drivers and other drivers need to be cautious when merging or changing lanes, ensuring they signal their intentions, check their blind spots and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles.
- Failing to adapt to road conditions: Drivers should adjust their speed and driving style according to weather conditions, traffic and road surfaces.
- Inattention to truck blind spots: Semitrucks have large blind spots that can make it difficult for drivers to see smaller vehicles, motorcycles, etc. Other drivers should be aware of these blind spots and avoid lingering in them.
- Inexperience: Inexperienced drivers, whether they are operating a semitruck or a passenger vehicle, may lack the skills necessary to handle challenging driving situations and/or to interact safely with other vehicles on the road.
To reduce the number of semitruck crashes involving other drivers, it is essential to promote safe driving practices among all road users, enforce traffic laws and implement targeted educational campaigns. Anyone who’s injured in a crash with a semitruck should get prompt medical care and take legal action if the situation warrants such a response. Sometimes, taking legal action leads to significant change in business practices and other factors that can influence the likelihood of crashes.