The best things you can do to ensure your safety on the road are to drive carefully and to follow all traffic laws. This is especially important when sharing the road with tractor trailers, as getting into an accident with one comes with high fatality and injury rates for those in passenger vehicles.
However, your driving is only half of the equation. The other half is knowing causes of semi-truck accidents so you can watch out for and avoid dangerous situations.
1. Reckless driving
Truck drivers are usually at fault for most accidents due to reckless driving. Common unsafe practices are speeding, making illegal moves, overcompensating for errors and driving too closely to other vehicles. These behaviors increase when a trucker lacks proper training and experience or is in a rush.
Sometimes reckless driving happens because the big rig driver is impaired. The source of impairment may be from:
- Alcohol or drugs (including prescription medicine)
- Sleep deprivation
- Medical conditions, such as seizures
Truckers may also succumb to distractions that negatively affect their driving, including eating and drinking, using a cellphone, and looking at scenery.
3. Faulty equipment
Unfortunately, safe driving is not the only factor that matters. It is just as important for semi trucks and their equipment to be safe as well. They require regular maintenance and inspection to ensure proper functioning and safe operation. This includes checking that trailer attachments and cargo are secure and tires are in excellent condition. When equipment leads to accidents between semi trucks and passenger vehicles, accountability may lie with manufacturers, owners or shippers.
What to do in an accident
If you are in an accident with a tractor trailer because of one of these three causes (or any other), it is imperative that you speak to a personal injury lawyer right away. An attorney can guide you in seeking financial compensation from trucking companies so you will be able to take care of the many expenses that follow sustaining a severe injury.