Every day, hundreds or thousands of injuries occur as a result of vehicular accidents in Phoenix. However, when the collision involves a commercial truck or other 18-wheeler truck, the result is often devastating.
Truck crashes are notorious for being fatal. Each year, at least 4,000 people in the United States lose their lives in a truck crash. The most common causes of fatal truck crashes involve distracted drivers, fatigued drivers and impaired drivers. As a driver who is more massive than a regular vehicle, commercial trucks have an increased risk of injuring the vulnerable parties on the road when there is a collision. In fact, it is estimated that 2/3rds of fatal truck crashes involve another vehicle on the road.
While the National Highway Control has done much to avoid this kind of crashes from happening, they still occur occasionally. Anyone can prevent commercial truck accidents. Avoiding accidents involving large vehicles also means knowing the common causes of them. If you’re reading this article then it’s a safe assumption that you or someone close to you has been involved in an auto or truck accident. The question is, what should you do next? If you have sustained any type of injury in a motor vehicle accident it is imperative that you seek legal counsel from an experienced car accident attorney from Ferguson Law Group – Accident & Injury Lawyers Phoenix, immediately.
If drivers know the common causes of commercial truck crashes, they can do their best to avoid making these errors. But sometimes, it is the driver of a smaller car that causes the accident involving commercial trucks. Here are the reasons why:
Small cars turn in front of trucks
One of the reasons why crashes occur is that some drivers misjudge the speed of the large trucks. That’s why they are prone to turn left in front of a truck at an intersection because they think they have much time to make the turn. Small cars create a large blind spot in a truck driver’s field of view. That’s why it’s hard to see a small car turning right in front of a truck at an intersection.
Small vehicles travel in blind spots
Smaller cars should not move too closely to trucks. Large trucks can’t see that there are smaller cars behind them. Additionally, cars should not stay directly in the middle of the side of a truck, since it is also a blind spot.
It is important for motorcycles, cars, and other smaller vehicles to be aware of trucks on the road. Large trucks can’t always see smaller vehicles behind them. This is a huge problem for drivers on the road because a fatal accident can occur when a motorist doesn’t realize there is a truck in their blind spot. Drivers need to pay attention to the possibility of trucks around them and also avoid driving in a truck’s blind spots.
Understand the vehicular blind spots and know how to avoid them if you want to stay safe on the road. A driver’s blind spot is the area at traffic lights where vehicles cannot be seen by the driver. There are three major blind spots that can occur while driving on the road. The first blind spot is the intersection. This is an area where vehicles turning around may not be able to see other vehicles on the road, especially smaller vehicles like cyclists and pedestrians. The intersection has a limited view of the vehicle only looking forward on the road, thus unable to see what is coming up behind him or her or what is behind another vehicle due to this limited view.
Trucks can’t slow down quickly
In 2008, the median length of a vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) trip was about 8 miles. In 2008, there were 9.8 billion car trips and 3.0 billion truck trips in the United States. This amounts to roughly 37 trips for each American per month that involved a motor vehicle. The average American lives within five miles of his or her place of work. About half of all trips made by Americans are five miles or less. Trucks generally can’t stop as quickly as cars, especially on steep grades or when they are heavily loaded, so they need even more space to stop than cars do. Generally speaking, most professional truck drivers have to maintain a following distance of at least 10 seconds during most circumstances.
Commercial trucks need much more time to slow down to a stop. If smaller cars pull up in front of a truck and stop suddenly, there are greater risks that the truck will hit them. It is much better to stay in the same lane until it is safe to change.
It is no surprise that trucks need much more time to slow down . Not only do they have a wider wheel base but also longer stopping distances due to the extra weight. In addition, just because a truck’s big and it can stop itself from going over the edge of the cliff doesn’t mean it will stop before hitting smaller cars . The combination of these factors results in commercial trucks needing a lot more room to slow down and stop than smaller passenger vehicles.
Cars are not accelerating quickly
Small vehicles should make sure to accelerate fast enough if they are going to pull out in front of a truck at an intersection. Again, trucks can’t stop as quickly as cars. That’s why it is risky if commercial vehicles get cut off at an intersection.
Collisions involving commercial trucks can have devastating consequences. 18-wheeler truck accidents can also lead to catastrophic damages, injuries, and even wrongful death. However, not all accidents are caused by trucks, because smaller vehicles can also contribute to these terrifying accidents.
Jason M. Ferguson, the founder of Ferguson Law Group, started his career working for an automobile insurance company as a trial attorney before owning his injury law firm for over 20 years. Attorney Ferguson has a unique experience, having tried cases on both sides of the court system in personal injury trials, unlike many other lawyers. Mr. Ferguson also served over 14 years as an Army Reserve officer and the Georgia Air National Guard. The Albany Herald recognized him as one of southwest Georgia’s “40 under 40” in 2010.