There’s no question that the trucking industry is indispensable to the economic health of our country. Workers in the transportation and warehousing sectors accounted for more than three percent of the U.S. labor force in 2017, while a 2020 estimate puts the amount of goods truckers haul annually at 10.8 billion tons. However, while big rigs are irreplaceable if we want to choose from hundreds of brands of cereal and receive our newly purchased washer-dryer in a reasonable amount of time, many non-commercial drivers feel intimidated when sharing the road with 18- and even six-wheelers.
The anxiety that many drivers experience is understandable when you realize that the average-size family sedan weighing in at less than 4,000 pounds is often on the road with tractor-trailers, the largest of which weighs about 33,000 pounds unloaded. The accident statistics on fatalities that involve large trucks only add to those fears. In 2019, large trucks were involved in 4,000-plus accidents where close to 3,000 people who were riding in smaller vehicles died. But despite these statistics, we can’t very well say we won’t drive on roads where large trucks travel in order to stay safe. The key to staying alive while we drive is to be proactive in terms of safe driving habits.
Tips to Prevent Truck Accidents
When driving on roads that large trucks use, these safety measures can help to prevent collisions:
- Your visibility is limited when you are driving behind a truck, so leave more space ahead of you than you would for a car. This will give you more time should you need to brake suddenly.
- Pass a truck only if there is plenty of open space ahead of it.
- Trucks have a blind spot on the right side of the vehicle. When passing, pass on the driver’s side of the truck so the trucker can see you.
- Trucks require a lot of space to turn. Always leave more space and time than you think the trucker needs to make a turn before proceeding.
What Are the Main Causes of Truck Accidents?
Traffic accidents of all kinds are usually the result of several factors, not just one. However, the question remains: why are there so many accidents involving trucks? When asked, most people will probably say that speeding is the number one cause. Excessive speed is just one of several causative factors, but if you have pressing questions about your case, don’t hesitate to contact our team today. Here are the most common causes of accidents involving large trucks:
- Driver error
- Faulty brakes, wheels, and tires
- Newly installed electronic devices
- Unevenly distributed loads
- Driving too fast
- Unfamiliar driving routes
- Driver fatigue
- Truck length
- Driving aggressively
- Unrealistic delivery deadlines
- Driving in bad weather
- Driving while impaired
- Distracted driving
- Insufficient driver training
How Can the Number of Fatal Crashes Involving Large Trucks Be Reduced?
Health and safety organizations, as well as federal and state governments, conduct studies to determine which safety measures have a positive effect on reducing fatalities resulting from truck-involved accidents. One of the most promising proposals was to limit truck weight. However, a study conducted by the National Library of Medicine found there is no significant reduction in fatalities by establishing this restriction. Mandating different speed limits for cars and trucks was also not found to be of much help.
This study did, however, point to measures that, if enforced, would result in fewer deaths. Although the findings listed here involve fatalities, most would agree that any restraints that lower the incidence of life-ending accidents should be instated to reduce the severity of injuries across the board:
- Lowering speed limits for all types of vehicles
- Establishing uniform speed limits for all vehicles
- Enforcing seat belt legislation
- Restricting the length of trucks
Contact Hankey Marks & Crider Today
If you or someone close to you has suffered a serious injury or even death in an accident involving a large truck, put your worries in the capable hands of the award-winning Indianapolis truck accident attorneys of Hankey Marks & Crider. Our attorneys have more than 80 years of combined experience in a wide range of legal issues, including all types of traffic accidents. Call (317) 634-8565 today or submit our online form for a complimentary consultation. We will handle all the details every step of the way to help you obtain just compensation for your injuries and losses that resulted from someone else’s negligence.