Safely operating a passenger vehicle is easier said than done. There is trouble lurking around every corner, and it's your job to avoid it at all costs.
In addition to single vehicle accidents, you have to concern yourself with being involved in a crash with another vehicle. This is particularly true of commercial trucks, as an accident with a large vehicle has the potential to cause extensive damage and serious injury.
As a driver, you can help protect yourself from a truck accident by understanding the most common causes. Here are five reasons why car-truck accidents often happen:
- Reckless driving: Truckers aren't always the best drivers. Just the same, they don't always care about what's going on around them. Keep your eyes peeled for those who are not obeying the rules of the road.
- Distracted driving: Any distraction, such as cellphone use, greatly increases the risk of an accident. If you see a trucker who's not paying attention to the road, keep your distance.
- Drowsy driving: Truckers spend one hour after the next behind the wheel, meaning that they may become tired at some point. Those who don't stop to get rest are a risk to everyone else.
- Unrealistic schedule: This falls on the trucking company, as they often ask drivers to push the limit.
- Inadequate training: Every truck driver should receive training in regard to safety, defensive driving and technique.
Just as truckers make mistakes, you could do the same if you're not careful. Here are some things to protect against:
- Driving in a trucker's blind spot
- Changing lanes abruptly in front of a truck and without leaving enough space
- Improper merging, such as speeding in an attempt to get in front of a truck
- Driving in between commercial trucks
- Unsafe passing, such as in the right lane or on a two-lane highway
The main thing to remember is that a car-truck accident can happen at any time, so you never want to let down your guard. If you're part of a crash, move your vehicle to the side of the road and wait for help to arrive. The responding officer can file a police report, and an ambulance can transport you to a local hospital.
Once you understand your injuries and have a treatment plan, learn more about the crash, your legal rights and the next steps to take.