Everyone knows that there is risk inherent to operating a motor vehicle. Even if you drive very carefully, someone else on the road could still cause a crash. People choose to drive drunk or distracted every day, and that puts others on the road at risk.
When it comes to the biggest and most dangerous vehicles on the road, commercial trucks, the potential for serious injury and even death exist. These massive vehicles have blind spots that limit their drivers’ visibility, take longer to stop and often take up a lot of road space during a turn. There are myriad ways a commercial truck can cause an accident.
Underride accidents, for example, are both common and dangerous. If a truck stops suddenly, a vehicle behind it could end up rear-ending it. With most vehicles, that’s a minor fender-bender. With a semi truck, these accidents could be fatal, as the upper portion of the vehicle could get smashed or even clipped off.
Semi trucks can also turn or merge into traffic, causing major crashes. Sometimes, if they are stopped suddenly, commercial trucks can jackknife, blocking multiple lanes at once. Other people on the road could very sustain serious injuries or even get killed in these accidents.
Truck drivers are human, too
While the people who drive commercial vehicles do undergo special training and get subjected to higher standards than the average driver, they can still make mistakes. Sometimes, commercial drivers come to work when they are sick, meaning that their response time and awareness could be lower than normal. Truck drivers also spend countless hours on the road, so both exhaustion and distraction could cause a crash.
Although there are laws that limit the hours a truck driver can operate a vehicle, these rules may get broken if a shipment is late or there’s an on-time delivery incentive for the driver.
Sometimes, truck drivers decide to get behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs or prescribed medications that impact the ability to drive. While commercial drivers are generally subject to stricter limits on blood alcohol content, restrictions alone don’t prevent someone from driving.
They could also decide to eat while driving to save time or respond to a text message or email. Any of these decisions could end up costing other people on the road dearly. Truck accidents can wreck vehicles, break bones, cause brain and spinal damage or even kill people.
After an accident with a commercial truck, you should document the scene as well as possible. Evidence as to the commercial driver’s responsibility for the crash can help your insurance claim and ensure that you can access the compensation you deserve after a serious commercial vehicle accident.