Every day, Americans across the country are involved in truck accidents. A motor vehicle is no match for a big truck in a wreck—a regular car weighs around 4,000 pounds, whereas a large eighteen-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. The majority of fatalities in truck accidents are motor vehicle drivers and their passengers. What are some of the most common causes of truck accidents?
It is important to remember how to share the road with trucks. Never travel in a truck’s blind spots, allow plenty of space between your car and the truck before passing and changing lanes, and always use your signals when around them. Many truck accidents are caused when cars cut off big trucks in traffic, when they remain in a blind spot, and when they make sudden turns. Make sure that you are able to see a truck driver in his mirrors—this lets you know you are probably not in a blind spot.
Truck drivers are also responsible for a large number of accidents. Truck drivers have grueling schedules at times and are pressured to make delivery deadlines. Therefore, many truck drivers are exhausted while they are behind the wheel. Drowsy driving is the culprit of many truck accidents. Additionally, some truck drivers turn to drugs to help them stay awake. Many of these substances impair a trucker’s ability to drive.
Truck companies also have a responsibility to ensure that their equipment is functioning properly. Big rigs and other trucks should be regularly inspected. Equipment failure in a big truck can quickly cause a deadly accident. If a trucking company does not routinely inspect its fleet or does not repair reported problems in a timely manner, the trucking company could be liable if an accident occurs.
The weather is also to blame for many truck accidents. Since trucks are so much larger than standard motor vehicles, they need much more time to stop. Pair this fact with a wet or icy road, and an accident can happen in a split second if a truck needs to stop suddenly. Allow plenty of space between your car and big trucks when there is bad weather.
Trucks often have several tons of cargo that they must transport from one place to another. If the cargo is loaded improperly, a devastating accident can happen. If the cargo shifts while the truck is turning, for example, the truck could flip over and even land on other vehicles.
It can be difficult to determine the exact cause of a trucking accident. However, experienced truck accident attorneys know how to examine evidence and uncover the true causes of these devastating crashes. If you have been involved in a trucking accident, you should consult an 18-wheeler accident attorney as soon as possible.
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If you were injured in a vehicle accident in Illinois, contact Stein & Shulman, LLC, today to discuss your legal options with a skilled car wreck attorney. You can schedule a case consultation at no cost to you by calling our office at (312) 422-0506.