Trucking accidents can be some of the most serious motor vehicle accidents, often resulting in severe or even fatal injuries. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 4,136 people died in large truck crashes in 2018 alone. These types of trucks can include big rigs, tractor trailers, delivery trucks and other large commercial vehicles.
Many motorists may be aware of the dangers that such large trucks can present to those in smaller vehicles like cars and motorcycles. To increase the safety of all on Texas roadways, it can be helpful to understand some of the common causes of trucking accidents.
Even professional drivers can make mistakes
Truck drivers are professionals. Some may have years or even decades of experience on the road. However, ultimately commercial trucks are immense vehicles and the pressures on truck drivers can sometimes lead even experienced drivers to act in a negligent manner.
For example, truck drivers can have unrealistic schedules set for them that cause them to speed to stay on time. Other factors that can lead to an accident can include:
- Improper loading of a truck
- Poor, rushed or delayed maintenance
- Driver fatigue
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Sometimes, blame for the accident may not be solely on the driver. Trucking companies, shippers, manufacturers and more may be held accountable, depending on the situation.
Understanding how to drive safely alongside commercial trucks
While a number of factors outside the control of Texas motorists can lead to a truck accident, understanding how to safely share the road is imperative. One of the biggest contributors to accidents is driving in a truck’s “No-Zones.” These are the areas directly behind and to the sides of the truck where a driver has very limited visibility.
Additionally, trucks have significantly reduced reaction times than the typical passenger vehicle. Making any sudden attempts to pass, change lanes or merge in front of a truck can result in little to no time for the truck driver to safely adjust their speed.
Unfortunately, trucking accidents still occur no matter how defensive one was driving. Trucking accidents can lead to broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, head and neck injuries, paralysis, amputations and more. It is critical to work with an experienced attorney from the start to fight for your rights and identify the cause of the crash.