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Causes of the majority of collisions with commercial trucks

North Carolina drivers may be more cautious when approaching a large truck after learning about the statistics regarding large truck accidents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The agency pinpoints unique dangers that large commercial trucks, such as big rigs and 18-wheelers, can pose to passenger vehicles. Even a minor driving error can result in a wreck, as these trucks are much larger in size than other vehicles and can be harder to maneuver.

There are some common unsafe practices that may cause a collision with a truck, such as misjudging what speed a truck is traveling at an intersection and attempting to make a left turn in front of the truck, attempting to pass a truck with insufficient headway and not being cautious when merging lanes, forcing the truck to have to slam the brakes. In some cases, a driver may pass a truck successfully, but high cross-winds cause them to be blown out of position. Drivers are encouraged to take extreme caution when driving near a large truck and never attempt to drive between two trucks.

There are also some unsafe practices truck drivers might engage in that could be dangerous to other drivers. These include inadequate defensive driving training, attempting to rush delivery in less time in order to receive competitive pay and extended driving hours that cause a driver to become fatigued while behind the wheel.

Collisions involving large trucks accounted for 3,921 deaths and 104,000 injuries in the U.S. in 2012. People who have been injured in truck accidents might hire a personal injury lawyer to help establish a settlement. If the attorney discovers that the trucking company that employs the driver required extended work hours that resulted in driver fatigue, for example, the company might be required to compensate the victim.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Large Trucks,” Accessed on Jan. 20, 2015

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