7 Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Alabama

Getting into any type of auto accident can be a very scary experience, but it is significantly worse when the accident involves a large semi-truck. These vehicles have so much more mass than a normal passenger vehicle that the risk for extreme injuries goes up quite dramatically. This is why it is so important to be aware of some of the most common causes of truck accidents in Alabama: so you can take steps to avoid the risk.

Trucks Traveling at Excessive Speeds

One of the biggest causes of truck accidents is when these trucks travel at unsafe speeds. Truck drivers are typically paid by the mile, which means the faster they go, the higher their hourly rate. When these large vehicles are traveling faster than they should, they can be difficult to control, and almost impossible to stop quickly.

Vehicles Driving in Dangerous Areas Around a Truck

Due to the size of trucks, the drivers only have limited visibility in certain areas around them. When passenger vehicles drive in these ‘blind spots,’ they are at significant risk. A truck could change lanes not realizing another vehicle is there, causing a serious accident. To avoid this type of issue, drivers should never remain next to or behind a truck for any longer than is strictly necessary. Remember: as a general rule, if you can’t see their rearview mirrors, they cannot see you.

Insufficient Training of Truck Drivers

Truck drivers are in high demand today, and many trucking companies are anxious to get new drivers out on the road. This can lead them to provide insufficient training, which puts everyone on the road at risk.

Weather-Related Issues

Just like all other vehicles on the road, trucks are very difficult to control in hazardous weather. When it is raining heavily, for example, the trucks can lose control or have difficulty seeing the road. High winds are particularly dangerous for trucks because of their large surface area—the truck may tip over more easily. Whenever driving in bad weather, make sure to give trucks extra room to avoid an accident and follow at a safe distance.

‘Drafting’ Behind a Truck

Some drivers foolishly try to improve their fuel efficiency by ‘drafting’ behind large trucks. While this can be an efficient way to drive, it is also very dangerous. In addition to having a very limited field of vision when driving like this, you’re also at significant risk of an accident if the truck driver suddenly hits the brakes.

Getting Clipped by Turning Truck

Large trucks need a lot of room when turning corners, especially when turning right. This, combined with their limited visibility, puts vehicles at risk for getting clipped when they are turning. As a passenger vehicle, the best way to avoid this risk is to leave plenty of room for the truck, and don’t hesitate to honk your horn if you think the truck driver doesn’t see you.

Lack of Sleep for Truck Drivers

Truck drivers are often operating on very tight deadlines, which means they need to spend a lot of time behind the wheel in order to get where they need to go. While there are laws limiting how many hours they can drive at a time, that doesn’t mean they are getting sufficient sleep. A tired driver is never safe, but when a tired driver is manning a truck, the potential for a serious accident is exponentially higher.

What to Do If You’ve Been in an Accident with a Truck

If you have been in an accident involving a truck in Alabama, it is important that you take the right steps to protect yourself moving forward. Contact John M. Totten for compassionate, knowledgeable service and get the legal help you need.

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Written by John M. Totten

John M. Totten

John's office is in Athens, Alabama, where he has helped thousands of people in North Alabama with everything from family law issues, to catastrophic injury and death cases, to criminal defense.