Top causes of truck accidents and tips to protect yourself

Regardless of the roadway or location, nothing changes the fact that safely sharing the road with other vehicles is of utmost importance.

While driving, you must keep your eyes open for large commercial trucks. These vehicles are often the biggest on the road, meaning that an accident with one of them can result in serious injury or even death.

Understanding the top causes of truck accidents can help keep you safe, so here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Inadequate training. Not all truck drivers receive top of the line training regarding defensive driving, safety concerns and technique.
  • System of compensation encouraging a trucker to stay on the road too long or drive too fast. Trucking companies often want their drivers to make time, no matter what it takes.
  • Speeding. Regardless of the reason, a trucker who is driving faster than the posted speed limit is one who is putting others in danger.
  • Distracted driving. This is a major problem in the trucking industry, with common distractions including: texting, talking on the phone, eating, drinking, grabbing for items in the cabin and adjusting radio or GPS controls.
  • Drowsy driving. There are federal guidelines in place that govern how many consecutive hours a trucker is permitted to drive. Even so, some people continue to break the law in an attempt to make better time.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Any driver, regardless of the vehicle type, is more likely to cause an accident if they have been using drugs or alcohol.

Safety tips

Now that you understand some of the most common causes of truck accidents, let’s review some tips to keep you safe:

  • Make your vehicle visible at all times, such as by avoiding trucker blind spots
  • Never drive between two large trucks for an extended period of time
  • Never pass a truck in the right lane
  • Leave plenty of space when changing lanes in front of a truck
  • Take caution when merging into traffic

Unfortunately, even the most cautious drivers can be part of a truck accident at some point.

If you find yourself in this position, do the following:

  • Check yourself for injuries
  • Call 911
  • Receive medical care
  • Learn more about the cause of the accident
  • Take steps to protect your legal rights and hold the negligent party accountable