Commercial trucks are significantly very heavy, powerful and high-speed vehicles. It seems very dangerous on the roadways. So very commonly, if this type of massive vehicle collides with a smaller vehicle, the accident results in the death of innocent people. But consequently, a question arises here, who is the responsible one, the car driver or the truck driver.
American Trucking Associations (ATA) recently had released a report that in maximum times, car drivers are found faulty when cars and trucks collide with one another. Another truck-related crash research, published by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, after studying 8,309 fatal car-truck crashes, asserts that 81 percent car drivers are assigned at fault whereas 27 percent for truck drivers.
A parallel study of FMCSA says that 6,131 fatal car-truck crashes over a three-year period in 2007, 2008 and 2009. In 2007 and 2008, cars were assigned fault at 85 percent of crashes, this number dropped to 81 percent in 2009.
However, it is very clear that all the studies claim that in maximum cases, car drivers are accused of these accidents. So now the question is what to do to avoid these kinds of crashes which cause many serious and life-altering diseases as paralysis, amputations, spinal cord injuries, head and brain injuries, broken bones even wrongful death. To prevent accidents, we should maintain the following tips:
For the car drivers:
- Be careful when passing the truck: Due to its size and power, large trucks can’t stop very quickly as other vehicles. So, the drivers take some more time to control the speed. The most valuable points to remember when trying to overtake commercial trucks are: not to overtake the trucks downhill or uphill because of its speed, acknowledge the truck driver that you want to overtake it, give proper signal and if it tries to pass you then have a right side and make your car slow so that it can have more space to safely pass you.
- Blind spots: A most dangerous cause of truck accidents is the blind spots. The drivers have difficult to see 20 feet in front of the truck, 30 feet behind the truck and two lanes wide on the right side of the truck. So, avoid these areas to prevent a crash. And one more point to remember is if you can’t see the driver in the truck’s side mirrors, the drivers are not seeing you at the same time.
- Lower the brightness of the headlights: Bright headlights may reflect on the side mirrors of the truck and blind the driver, so try to lower your headlights while you are near to any kind of vehicle.
- Keeping a safe distance: Always try to maintain a safe distance (at least 4 seconds) and don’t make any sudden or unpredictable movements. If you are so close to trucks, serious damages can occur like tire blowouts, slide under the truck due to sudden braking, etc.
- Give plenty of spaces: A commercial truck takes up to two lanes while making turns. So, give the space and time and wait till it turns.
For the truck drivers:
- Don’t drive longer than the law allows. Look out the detailed summary of required break times and the maximum number of hours allowed behind the wheel and on shift published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
- Be attentive. Fatigue and boredom can lead many drivers to seek distractions but driving this kind of vehicle requires total concentration.
- Avoid the use of mobile, texting, and eating while driving.
- Check your side mirrors frequently (every 7 to 8 seconds), and scan the road for animals, accidents, or any other hazards that could pose a danger.
Though the precautions sometimes are already known and nurtured by car and truck drivers, we couldn’t drop the numbers of crashes to date. So you must know how you can ensure your legal rights, you may able to file a lawsuit after consulting a skilled truck accident lawyer to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages and a variety of other damages.
An experienced truck accident attorney knows how to collect evidence to determine the liable parties who can be truck driver, truck owner, truck driver’s employer, the owner of the cab, govt entities and so on. A truck accident lawyer will also advise on what evidence you should collect to strengthen your claims like photographs of the accident scene, medical records and the details of the truck company.
There are various laws and regulations which govern truck drivers and the trucking industry. So, the truck accident lawyers should have all the knowledge about the role of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). It requires all commercial truck’s safety certification, maintenance reports, etc. A truck accident attorney may have to negotiate with insurance companies and corporations for all he wants.
So, no need to worry, if you have a valid claim, there is away. The truck accident attorneys can’t give you back what you had faced, but they take up your side and ensure your interests to be protected. They will fight being representative of you to recover the fair compensation.
Greg Baumgartner handles truck accident lawsuits for victims of truck accidents in Texas. He is an expert Texas Truck Accident Lawyer with an exemplary track record.