Personal injury attorneys and safety groups work to heavily promote the dangers that large 18-wheelers create on our highways and interstates. The major media also do their part in this promotion.
Safety organizations calling for more federal regulations on truck drivers say fatigue is a contributing factor in up to 30-40% of all heavy truck accidents. The problem with this statement is that it is false.
Commercial trucks are involved in 2.4% of all car accidents and more than 80% of those accidents are the fault of the non-commercial driver. Additionally, only 16% of all truck driving accidents are due to the truck driver’s fault and of those fatality related accidents, only 4% of truck driving accidents are fatigue related.
The truth when it comes to car and truck accidents is that the driver of the car is at fault more than 80% of the time. This is one more reason why driver’s education should include training on how to drive around large trucks and parents should help educate their older children on the main driving habits that are the cause of car accidents and accidents. trucks.
The most serious problem faced by non-professional drivers is a lack of understanding of truck driving mechanics. Other factors include basic safe driving skills, such as obeying the speed limit, changing lanes, and respecting other drivers.
The most common causes of semi-trailer car accidents are:
- Driving in the “Prohibited Zones” of the truck – All 18-wheelers have “blind spots” where the driver cannot see the car due to the size of the commercial vehicle. These “blind spots” include directly behind the truck, in front of the truck, which includes the lane the truck is in, as well as a lane to the right and a “blind spot” next to the truck’s right door. In addition, there is a “no zone” on each side of the truck that can span multiple lanes.
- Exit in front of a truck without proper acceleration – An 18-wheeler needs a longer distance to stop. As a general rule of thumb, a semi takes 40% longer to stop than a car. Depending on road conditions, cargo weight, and other similar factors, it may even take longer. For example, the stopping distance for a fully loaded tractor-trailer on dry pavement going 60 mph is about 335 feet, almost the length of a football field.
- Driving between or next to large trucks – This is one of the most dangerous garments one can wear, as large trucks create airflow that can push the car onto the bed. If necessary, increase your speed to pass the truck as soon as possible and avoid possible air turbulence.
- Steer to the right of a truck that is turning right – When you do this, the platform driver at some point cannot see you due to the “blind spot” this maneuver creates.
- Change lanes abruptly in front of a truck – Again, due to the size and weight of these large vehicles, their braking or deceleration process is greater and simply due to inertia and the laws of physics, they will not be able to stop in time to avoid a crash.
- Misjudging the speed of an approaching truck at an intersection – Many car-truck crashes occur at intersections as the truck approaches to turn. Due to the size of the commercial vehicle, your speed may appear much slower than you are actually moving; much like a large passenger plane flying through the sky; it seems to move very slowly, although we all know that it is not.
The list of causes of car and truck accidents could be endless, but here are the top serious driving habits non-commercial drivers engage in that result in 80% of car drivers being the direct cause of accidents related to cars and trucks.
Other factors include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Ignore road conditions
- Talking on the cell phone and/or texting while driving
- Reckless driving/moving in and out of traffic
- just not paying attention
If the driver’s education course is going to fail to teach our children how to drive big trucks, then parents must take on this task because the life they save could be that of their own children.