Accidents involving tractor-trailers and other large trucks can have devastating consequences. The size and weight of these vehicles can cause debilitating injuries and significant property damage.
Review the answers to three questions motorists frequently ask about truck accidents.
What causes truck accidents?
According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, fatigue, substance use and speeding commonly play a role in large-truck accidents. The agency also identifies three common “critical events” that set collisions involving trucks into motion. About 32% of accidents occurred when the truck exited its lane, either off the road or into another lane of traffic.
In 29% of crashes, the driver lost control because of road conditions, mechanical failure, cargo shift or excessive speed. An additional 22% of incidents began when the truck rear-ended another driver in the same lane.
Why are truck accidents so dangerous?
FMCSA data indicates that most injuries and fatalities in truck accidents impact drivers of other vehicles. The average car weighs about 3,000 pounds, while a fully-loaded cargo truck can exceed 80,000 pounds in weight. This dramatic discrepancy combined with highway travel speeds can be catastrophic for motorists if an accident occurs.
How can drivers avoid truck accidents?
Motorists should give truck drivers plenty of room to maneuver. Double your usual following distance when traveling behind a tractor-trailer. Never cut off this type of truck, since the driver needs time to stop the heavy vehicle. Stay out of the truck driver’s blind spots, especially when turning or changing lanes.
Georgia residents who experience serious personal injury in a tractor-trailer accident may have legal recourse. They can seek financial damages if the truck driver caused the crash.