Trucking accidents is the term commonly given collisions between large trucks (vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds) and moving passenger vehicles, other trucks, parked vehicles, or pedestrians. In 2000, one out of every eight fatal car accidents involved a large truck. This can be attributed not only to the size and weight of these trucks but also to significant blind spots in the field of view of truck drivers.
How do trucking accidents usually occur? Like other vehicle crashes, trucking accidents can result from a variety of causes, but statistics show that certain situations make them more likely. For example, there is an increased risk of a trucking accident when a passenger vehicle tries to cut into the inside lane while a truck is making a wide right turn. This increases the likelihood of an accident because it places the passenger vehicle in the truck driver’s blind spot.
Some other ways that trucking accidents occur include:
- Truck driver is overly tired or working beyond standard hours
- Vehicle problems, such as brake failure
- Truck driver does not carefully monitor truck’s blind spots
- Drivers fail to leave adequate space between vehicles
- Passenger vehicle cuts in front of a truck
- Drivers not paying attention to the road
- Aggressive or reckless drivers
- One of drivers involved under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Many trucking accidents could have been prevented had the drivers taken the proper precautions. Being alert, leaving adequate space for unexpected stops, and staying out of blind spots can all help to prevent trucking accidents. In addition, drivers can decrease their odds of having an accident by avoiding the roads when they are tired and when they have been drinking alcohol. Limiting driving distractions (such as eating or talking on a cell phone while driving) is also an important step towards limiting accidents.
What should drivers involved in a trucking accident do? Drivers involved in trucking accidents should take certain steps at the scene of the collision as well as in the days immediately following the crash. Being involved in a trucking accident can be very frightening and the aftermath can be chaotic and confusing, especially if there have been any serious injuries. If you have been in a trucking accident, consider contacting not only your insurance company but also an attorney who specializes in trucking accident cases.
At the scene of the accident, you should gather and record the following information if possible:
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of those involved
- Insurance company information from the other driver(s)
- Contact information for any witnesses
- Names of police officers if any are present at the scene
- Location of the accident
- Any apparent injuries
- Any visible damage to the vehicles involved
In the days following a trucking accident, you should make sure that you complete the following steps as necessary:
- Inform your insurance company of the accident
- File a police report if there have been any injuries or extensive vehicle damage
- Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to see if a report needs to be filed there
- Contact a personal injury lawyer who has experience in trucking accident cases
Remember, if you have been injured in a trucking accident, you may be entitled to compensation.
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