No matter when you hit the road or where you're driving, you're likely to find yourself navigating in close proximity to commercial trucks.
When you combine the size of these vehicles with the fact that some truckers don't follow the rules of the road, it's easy to see why car-truck accidents are so common.
Understanding the main reasons behind trucking accidents can help you prevent trouble on the road:
- Drowsy driving: Truckers are more likely than other drivers to fall asleep at the wheel, as they spend many consecutive hours on the road. Furthermore, some truckers don't take enough breaks, thus increasing the risk of becoming drowsy.
- Distracted driving: Just the same as any driver, truckers have access to many distractions. Some of the most common include talking on the phone, texting, eating, drinking, reading a map and adjusting the radio.
- Reckless driving: This takes on many forms, such as failure to use a turn signal when changing lanes, excessive speeding and tailgating.
- Driving under the influence: Drugs, alcohol and prescription medication can all impair a trucker's ability to safely operate their vehicle.
- Lack of training: All truckers should receive comprehensive training before getting behind the wheel on their own. Training should focus on defensive driving, common safety hazards and driving technique.
- Unrealistic schedule: Trucking companies are responsible for this potential cause of an accident. When a trucker has an unrealistic schedule, they're more likely to stay on the road for too many hours and drive in excess of the speed limit. If you combine both these things, the risk of causing an accident is great.
- Aggressive driving: Most truckers do their part in keeping the roads safe, but some are entirely too aggressive. For example, if you're driving too slowly in the passing lane, they may attempt to go by you in the right lane.
Regardless of the reason, if you're injured in a car-truck accident you should seek immediate medical attention. Neglecting to do so can result in additional bodily harm.
As your schedule allows, you should also contact your insurance agent, learn more about the cause of the accident and formulate a strategy for obtaining compensation from the negligent party, which can include both the trucker and their trucking company.
Read our blog and browse our website for more guidance on what to do after a trucking accident in Missouri.