Most road users will agree that there are risks when it comes to sharing the road with larger vehicles such as trucks and other commercial vehicles. Their sheer size and presence on the road can be intimidating and it sometimes feels like their movements can be unpredictable.
When you hear about accidents involving trucks, the damage that’s described often sounds catastrophic. Here are a few of the reasons why truck accidents happen and how you can protect yourself and your passengers.
The driver is distracted
There are any number of things that can cause a truck driver to be distracted while driving. Texting, taking a call, eating and drinking, reading a map or using a GPS are just a few examples of activities that can take their attention away from the road. This can result in a failure to come to a stop when necessary or drifting across lanes.
Falling asleep at the wheel
Many truck drivers can be behind the wheel for hours at a time, often driving overnight to make sure they reach their targets for deliveries. Driving for long stretches at a time and on open highways can cause fatigue which leads to falling asleep at the wheel.
Aggressive or reckless driving
Some truckers may make unsafe maneuvers such as switching lanes quickly and without signaling, speeding or being aggressive in their driving. This can result in crashes with other road users who cannot anticipate the unpredictable actions of the truck driver.
How do you protect yourself?
The best way you can protect yourself and your passengers when sharing the road with trucks is to keep your distance. Ensuring that you stay far enough back that you can see their wing mirrors at all times means they can also see you. It also gives you more time to react if they make a maneuver that you consider to be unsafe or erratic.
Being injured due to the negligence or recklessness of a truck driver can cause lasting damage physically, emotionally and mentally. There’s compensation available to you to help you while you recover.