There are a few common myths about driving near trucks, and we’ll discuss four of them here. First, the mirrors of trucks are not synonymous with better visibility. These giant side mirrors are useless if a truck driver is inexperienced or fatigued. Sometimes it may be impossible for truck drivers to check their blind spots, and they assume that motor vehicle drivers will stay at a safe distance.
Trucks Are Less Likely to Cause Accidents
According to IIHS research, large trucks with advanced safety features, like automatic emergency braking are less likely to be involved in accidents. These features are especially important because large trucks tend to cover more miles than passenger vehicles and are more likely to encounter dangerous situations on highways. As a result, truck drivers tend to experience more accidents and injuries than other car drivers. But even if trucks do have fewer accidents, they can still pose a threat to drivers and other motorists.
Large trucks are heavier than passenger vehicles and have higher ground clearance, which can cause a smaller vehicle to slide under trailers. To reduce this risk, trucks have strong underride guards that can prevent a car from sliding beneath the truck’s trailer. Driver fatigue is another major cause of truck accidents and is considered a key factor in these crashes. Federal hours-of-service regulations allow truck drivers to spend only 11 consecutive hours behind the wheel. Likewise, a poorly maintained truck’s brake system may contribute to accidents.
One study found that mechanical defects, new tour routes, and driver fatigue caused the majority of truck accidents. Driver fatigue was a common contributor to accidents and was directly responsible for almost five percent crashes. Even though truck fatalities are higher than passenger cars, they are still much lower than those of automobiles.
Truckers Can Get by Without Much Sleep
While truck drivers can sometimes seem to get away with not getting enough sleep, the truth is that many of them are not getting the necessary rest they need. They are often on the road for long hours, and there are no passengers in the truck cab to distract them. Many truck drivers resort to illegal and legal means to keep themselves awake. While it is not advisable to drive next to a truck, drivers should take regular breaks to get some rest and refuel. A quick nap can mean staying safe and getting into an accident.
According to the American Automobile Association study, nearly 40 percent of drivers admit to falling asleep behind the wheel at least once a month. That’s a frightening statistic for anyone.
The dangers of trucking accidents can be significantly increased by sleep deprivation. Most accidents involving trucks happen on the highway, so driving near them can increase your chances of an accident. Even one night of poor sleep can increase the risk of an accident.
Trucking Companies Cannot Be Held Liable
If you’ve ever been involved in an accident while driving near a truck, you know that a trucking company can be held liable for the damages and injuries caused by their vehicles. Trucking companies must maintain different levels of insurance and comply with the federal motor carrier safety administration’s standards. Failure to perform necessary maintenance and repair work may result in accidents. Trucking companies must also replace worn parts as soon as possible.
There are exceptions to this rule, however. Trucking companies cannot be held liable if the truck driver was reckless or operating the truck outside of the scope of his employment. If the truck driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or was driving beyond the scope of their employment, the trucking company might not be liable for damages.
In addition to these regulations, trucking companies must follow FMCSA regulations on service hours. Hours of service regulations mandate that truck drivers take mandatory breaks before getting back on the road. These regulations are designed to protect people who drive near trucks. But they can still be sued. In the U.S., trucking companies can be held liable when their drivers violate FMCSA regulations, but only if they’ve been negligent in maintaining their fleet.
Driver fatigue is a major cause of accidents involving trucks. Truckers can be found liable for accidents caused by fatigue. Trucking companies must monitor drivers’ logs and establish appropriate controls to limit their driving time. These regulations are intended to prevent trucking accidents due to driver fatigue. If these rules are violated, trucking companies may be liable for the damages inflicted. This also applies to drivers whose hours of service are exceeded.
Insurance Companies Are Your Friends
Insurance companies are not your friends and are not looking out for your best interests. Trucking companies and their insurance companies are in the business of making a profit. They will also try to pay you a very low settlement amount for your injuries and damages or may try to deny your claim altogether. That is why you should contact a personal injury attorney. They will help you negotiate with the insurance company so that you’re not taken advantage of. Moreover, a personal injury attorney can help build a strong case against the trucking company and maximize your settlement.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Accidents involving large commercial trucks are not uncommon on our nation’s roadways, and many drivers aren’t aware of their risks. They may believe that commercial truckers aren’t as likely to cause accidents as regular cars, but this could not be further from the truth. Unfortunately, truck accidents result in catastrophic injuries and even fatalities. If you or a loved one is injured in a truck accident, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
When driving near large trucks, always make sure to slow down and avoid getting in the way of the truck. While you’re in the process of healing, take pictures of the accident and write a detailed account of the incident. This information will help your attorney prepare a strong case. In addition, you’ll likely have to deal with an insurance adjuster from the trucking company’s insurance provider. This adjuster may try to settle your claim for as little money as possible, so be prepared to fight them in court.
In addition to monetary compensation, you can also seek non-economic damages for pain and suffering. Non-economic damages are often the result of psychological trauma and suffering. Punitive damages are meant to punish those responsible for the accident. The truck driver may not be liable for the accident, but the trucking company or the truck manufacturer could be responsible. Hiring a qualified attorney to pursue compensation for your losses and damages is essential.