All drivers, including truck drivers, have a duty to operate their vehicles as a reasonable and prudent driver would. This means obeying traffic signals, driving carefully in bad weather, and checking one’s surroundings before moving or stopping.
Inadequate surveillance is a major cause of truck accidents every year. In fact, 14 percent of truck accidents are attributed to inadequate surveillance. Inadequate surveillance refers to the failure to check one’s surroundings before taking some action, such as changing lanes or checking for oncoming traffic. Since tractor-trailers are so much larger than other vehicles, truck drivers must take extra care to check their blind spots and other areas as they travel.
Why do inadequate surveillance accidents happen?
There are dozens of reasons why inadequate surveillance truck accidents may happen.
First, it is well documented that truck drivers are often very tired as they drive from location to location. These drivers work long hours and often drive hundreds of miles in a single day. When they become tired, they may fail to check their blind spots and look for oncoming traffic as carefully as they would under normal circumstances.
In addition, many truck drivers become lost in thought during their long hours on the road. It can be difficult to remain completely alert for hours and hours at a time.
Some truck drivers simply fail to check their mirrors frequently enough. A truck driver should keep his eyes on the road, of course, but he should also regularly check the truck’s mirrors. Truck drivers who check their mirrors are more likely to anticipate that a vehicle has moved into the truck’s blind spot.
At intersections, truck drivers should check the traffic in every direction a couple of times before entering the intersection. Many truck drivers look for oncoming traffic, but still fail to notice an approaching car. Checking just once more in each direction can save lives.
Some truck drivers admit to using cell phones while driving. Texting, making calls, and using apps all increase the odds of an inadequate surveillance accident. After all, if a truck driver is looking at his phone, he is not checking his blind spots or looking for oncoming traffic.
What to do if you are involved in a truck accident
If you were involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer, first, be careful what you say to other drivers. Even a simple “I’m sorry” may be used against you as an admission of guilt, even if you are not at fault.
Take photos of the scene of the accident and note the weather conditions.
Always seek medical treatment, even if you feel fine. Failing to seek treatment may damage your claim.
If a truck driver caused your accident, contact our office today
Trucking accidents are scary and often cause devastating injuries. If you were involved in a trucking accident, contact Stein & Shulman today to set up a free consultation to discuss your legal options. Call 312-422-0500 for your free legal consultation.