According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, approximately 60 percent of car accidents involve large trucks. In most cases, the truck driver is at fault in the accident. Claiming liability, however, can hurt a truck driver and cost them their job, so they often try and put the blame off on the driver of the small car. In such cases, there are many claimed reasons for an accident that can lead to a liability case. Some of the most common reasons for accidents caused by drivers are listed below.
Phone Usage While Driving
Texting or talking on the phone while driving is one of the most common cause of accidents. The penalization for this offense can be harsh, however, proving it was the cause of the accident can be very difficult. Without proper evidence that phone usage was the cause of an accident, the person cannot be held liable. People will often deny phone usage and instead try and shift blame.
Truck drivers are generally required to transport goods from one locations to another with a strict deadline. Oftentimes, the destination is very far, so this makes for long drives. Even within the legal regulations, this can cause a truck driver to overwork themselves and experience fatigue. Fatigue can impair one’s ability to think and act properly, increasing the risk of mistakes and traffic accidents.
Under the influence
When a driver is on certain medications or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they’re concentration and judgement is often impaired. This can affect a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely, especially when faced with a road incident. For a truck driver, this can be especially dangerous, because a semi truck is harder to operate and maneuver.
High speeds and sudden stops
The large size and heavy weight of a semi truck adds significant risk when the vehicle is traveling at high speeds. These trucks are much harder to maneuver and take longer to slow down than the average car. Consequently, when an incident occurs involving a semi truck, the chances of an accident are higher and the impact is likely to be much stronger. This is the primary reason semi truck accidents are so common. A truck driver should always maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them to prevent potential accidents.
Unsafe lane changes
Unsafe lane changes can often result in accidents, especially when a semi truck is involved. This can result from failing to allow another car to merge into a lane, not using a turn signal when changing lanes, or changing lanes in an unsafe manner. Ther person at fault can be held liable, but there must be evidence that an unsafe lane change was made if not already proven.
Failure to obey specific laws and road signs
Because large trucks are harder to control, it’s especially important that truck drivers not only obey the laws in each specific circumstance, but also take extra safety precautions. If a truck driver is reckless when driving in urban areas, construction zone or toll ways, then accident are likely to occur, which can put other vehicles, pedestrians and workers in danger. Obeying road signs and laws in accordance to an area or situation is vital to maintaining safety.
Truck drivers often have to make wide turns that cause them to steer outside of their lanes or ambiguous intersection lines. If they do not carefully evaluate their surroundings to ensure no cars are in their path, then accidents can likely occur.
If you were injured in an accident involving a large truck and believe the driver was at fault for the accident, then you may be entitled to compensation. Unfortunately, they may refuse responsibility in order to avoid liability. You should contact an attorney, like a truck accident lawyer Phoenix AZ trusts, who can help you review your case and the evidence supporting your claim.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Lorona Mead for their insight into truck accident cases.