Common Reasons Why Cars and Trucks Collide

Gabriel A. Assaad
Partner Gabriel Assaad represents victims of negligence and medical malpractice nationwide.

If you’re the average motorist, you likely feel anxious when driving near a large tractor trailer. Unfortunately, there’s good reason for that: according to a report, in 2002, nearly 5,000 people died and 130,000 were injured due to truck accidents. This frightening statistic shows that trucks are a real danger to other drivers on the road, and that you could easily become hurt, or worse, when involved in a crash.

Mistakes Motorists Make When Driving Near Large Trucks

Only about three percent of large trucks are actually to blame for causing accidents, but because of their massive sizes and weight, they cause serious and often deadly damage. And although motorists are usually the most likely to suffer from injuries when involved in accidents, they can also cause the crashes themselves in a number of ways, including:

  • Changing lanes abruptly in front of a truck

  • Failing to slow down or speed up when a truck begins to change lanes or merge

  • Driving between large trucks

  • Pulling into traffic from the roadside in front of a truck without accelerating sufficiently

  • Maneuvering to the right of a truck when it is about to make a right turn

  • Driving in the “No Zones,” or areas behind and beside trucks where truck drivers have limited or no visibility

  • Merging improperly into traffic, forcing the driver to brake or maneuver quickly

  • Passing a truck and then being blown out of position by crosswind or turbulence

  • Abandoning a vehicle in a travel lane or failing to get a disabled vehicle completely off of the highway and onto the shoulder

  • Misjudging a truck’s oncoming speed at an intersection and turning left in front of it

  • Unsafe passing, particularly doing so when there is not enough headway

No matter who is to blame, however, lives can be changed and even lost because of truck accidents. Driving safely around all vehicles, particularly large trucks, can prevent these dangerous crashes from occurring.

How Truck Drivers Commonly Cause Accidents

Truck drivers take on large responsibilities when they agree to operate the massive vehicles. Unfortunately, some don’t take their jobs as seriously as A Truck in a Car's Side Mirrorothers, and those on the road can suffer as a result. A variety of factors can cause a truck driver to crash into another vehicle, including:

  • Fatigue. A lot has been said in the news lately about the controversy regarding truck drivers and the amount of time they have to work and the lack of sleep and breaks they receive. Unfortunately, these issues cause a majority of accidents to occur. Not sleeping enough can lead to falling asleep on the road and to poor decisions and actions. It can also lead to the use of drugs to stay awake, which can result in accidents on its own.

  • Driver error. Truck drivers are under lots of pressure when it comes to making their deliveries on time and keeping up with their quotas. As a result, mistakes are often made. Speeding in order to fulfill their deadlines, distractions from the phone and other devices, and unfamiliarity with roads can all lead to potentially deadly crashes.

  • Equipment malfunction. Truck drivers put a lot of wear and tear on their vehicles, and if they don’t give them the proper upkeep they require, they can suffer severe malfunction. Some of the most common problems that occur with trucks are defective steering, transmission failure, tire blowouts, improper trailer attachment, removing or depowering the front brakes, defective side or rear lighting, or brake failure due to inadequate adjustments.

When a Truck Accident Changes Your Life

Walking away from a truck accident without any injuries is rare. Oftentimes, accident victims suffer from broken bones, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord fractures, lacerations, and loss of life. If you or someone you love was involved in a truck accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact the attorneys of Kennedy Hodges to find out. To schedule your free, no-obligation consultation, call 855.947.0707 and speak with one of our compassionate and experienced professionals about your situation.