When passenger vehicles are involved in accidents with large trucks, the outcome is rarely good. Due to their sheer size and weight, collisions with tractor-trailers are often deadly. This is especially true when high speeds are involved. Unfortunately, truck drivers are often on the road for extended periods of time due to the time-sensitive nature of their loads. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has implemented hours-of-service regulations to prevent drivers from working excessive hours. However, it’s not uncommon for trucking companies to ignore these rules. And even when followed, the rules allow for 11 hours of driving time per day. If you’ve ever been behind the wheel for 11 hours, you know how tiring it can be.
Tips for Avoiding a Large Truck-Passenger Vehicle Collision
Sometimes it’s the truck driver’s fault. Sometimes it’s the passenger vehicle driver’s fault. Sometimes the accident is a result of bad weather or a mechanical defect. Whatever the scenario, the tips below will help you avoid becoming a statistic in a collision with a large truck. And if you’ve been injured in a large truck accident, a skilled Boston truck accident lawyer can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
- Avoid driving in the truck driver’s blind spot, located directly behind the truck and beside it, near the rear.
- Never change lanes abruptly in front of, and in close proximity to, a truck.
- If a truck is making a right turn, do not attempt to maneuver to its right side.
- Avoid making a left turn in front of a rapidly approaching truck.
- If you wish to pass a truck, make sure you have sufficient headway.
- Air turbulence and cross-wind from a large truck can be dangerous, especially for smaller vehicles. If you are passing a truck, use caution.
- Do not drive between large trucks.
Common Causes of Accidents Caused by Truck Drivers and Trucking Companies
Truck accidents can be caused by improperly trained, fatigued, or negligent truck drivers. The best line of defense against these types of accidents is to always be vigilant when driving near a large truck. Do not allow yourself to be distracted by a cell phone, the radio, or conversation with a passenger. A MA truck accident lawyer can help if you’ve been injured by a negligent truck driver or trucking company. Accidents caused by truck drivers and trucking companies are often due to:
- Improper or inadequate training
- Unrealistic delivery schedules that promote speeding
- Driver fatigue
- Alcohol or drug abuse
Large Truck Accident Statistics
- Nearly 4,000 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2014.
- Almost 35 percent of truck drivers who are fatally-injured in truck accidents tested positive for at least one type of illegal drug.
- The most commonly used drugs among truck drivers involved in fatal accidents are alcohol and marijuana, followed by cocaine. Amphetamines, methamphetamines, and other stimulants were also present in the systems of many fatally-injured truck drivers.
- Drug and alcohol use is the second biggest contributing factor for accidents involving large trucks.
- More than 60 percent of fatal truck accidents occur in rural areas.
- Most fatal truck accidents occur on the weekends.