Why truck accidents happen and how to avoid one

If you drive on any of the highways or Interstates around Lancaster, you've likely encountered your fair share of large commercial and tractor-trailer trucks. Many drivers admit to feeling unnerved when one of these hulking and imposing trucks pull up alongside or directly behind their much smaller vehicle.

It turns out that drivers of smaller vehicles have good reason to feel nervous while sharing the road with large trucks, as national statistics show that more than 3,600 people were killed in truck-related crashes during 2014 alone. This number represents a 16 percent increase over the number of truck accident fatalities that were reported in 2009 and is cause for concern among many who question the safety of not only commercial trucks, but also the drivers who operate them.

Leading Causes of Truck Accidents

  • Problems with braking system
  • Speeding
  • Unfamiliarity with roadway
  • Impairment (over-the-counter drug use)
  • Distracted driving
  • Fatigued driving

These are just some of the most-common factors cited as causing or contributing to the thousands of truck accidents that occur annually throughout the United States. Additional factors include alcohol and drug use, following too closely, tire problems and shifting cargo.

How to Avoid Being a Truck Accident Victim

  • Don't drive in a truck's blind spots - Because of a commercial truck's height, length and general size; a truck driver has blind spots on both the right and left sides as well as directly in front and back of a truck.
  • Don't follow a truck too closely - At times, it's unavoidable and you must follow behind a large truck. However, when doing so, it's important to maintain a safe distance.
  • Don't brake suddenly - If a large commercial truck is behind you, it's important to maintain a steady speed and to avoid sudden braking as a truck may be unable to stop and rear-end your vehicle.
  • Do be courteous and provide trucks ample space - Be courteous if a truck is attempting to pass or merge in front of your vehicle. A commercial truck is much larger and heavier than your car or SUV and attempting to beat or squeeze a truck out can have disastrous consequences.

If You Are Involved in a Truck Accident

At times, despite your best efforts, some motor vehicle accidents are unavoidable. This is especially true when another driver is at fault in causing an accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash involving a large commercial truck, the resulting injuries and damages are likely to be serious and significant. An attorney who has experience helping truck accident victims recover compensation can help you recover compensation for your injuries, costly medical bills and lost wages.

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