Common Causes of Truck Accidents Pt 1
No matter how much work you put into your Honda Accord, it will never be as much as a beast as a semi-truck. Even an old 69 Mustang Hemi won’t be able to compare to the power that is the Commercial Delivery Truck. Semi-trucks are those large, 18 wheeled vehicles that we see every day on the highways and interstates. They are what deliver stock to stores, Amazon packages to customers, vehicles to dealerships, and practically anything else you can think of. Even the mail we get delivered 6 days a week will likely end up on a semi-truck before being put into a typical mail vehicle. Your basic semi-truck and trailer is allowed to carry a total of 80,000lbs, which is a lot of force to be hauling down the roadway. As you can imagine, when a semi gets in a wreck, it’s not a pretty sight. What causes these accidents, however?
Today, we are going to explore the common causes of a semi that come from your basic passenger vehicles such as sedans and minivans. Later on, we will visit what is the common causes that come from the actual driver of a semi-truck. There are things that people who drive around a semi-truck have to understand. For one, driving near a semi-truck might not be exactly dangerous, but it does require some caution. So read on and see what are the common causes of semi-truck crashes and how to avoid them.
Improper Merging or Changing Lanes: It is important to know that a semi-truck can not just stop or change speeds. When you are hauling 40,000 – 80,000lbs, hitting the breaks is going to have the vehicle go sliding forward. A semi-truck has to gradually slow down so if you merge without giving them room to slow down or brake if needed, you are going to have a very bad day. So make sure that when you are merging near a semi-truck that you give them plenty of room. We would recommend at least a car length between you and the semi, though 2 car lengths would be optimal.
Dangerous Passing: Given the length of a semi-truck, it can take a while to pass them compared to a normal vehicle. In areas where a lane is about to end, this can be dangerous. You may not have enough time to get past them and merge. You either have to stop suddenly or if it is in an exit lane, take an unwanted exit. Avoid this by always passing in a safe area. Try and avoid passing on a curve or in severe weather where you can’t see far beyond the semi. Also, make sure you are passing in a lane you know won’t end anytime soon.
Blind Spots: Being as large as a semi-truck is, it has a few blind spots. The basic rule is that if you can not see the truck’s mirrors, there is a good chance the truck cannot see you. When you are behind a semi, keep a good distance away so that even if you are in their blind spot, you are far enough away to avoid injury. You can also refer to the graphic below to learn more about the common blind spots most semi-trucks have.
Wide Turns: With such a long trailer, a semi-truck has to make a wide turn in order to avoid hitting sidewalks and signs. When you come to a stop, you may notice the turning lane ends sooner than the through lanes. This is because it gives a semi-truck room to turn. Make sure you don’t go past that white line and risk getting hit by a turning semi-truck. It also means not getting too close to the side of a semi when it is signaling a turn.
Of course, it is not always your fault if a semi-truck does crash into you. As we will explore later, it is always possible you were driving safe and the truck driver or some other factor caused the accident. If you or a family member are ever involved in a truck accident, contact Ward T. Berg at (386) 222-6028.