Accidents involving commercial trucks on Virginia roadways often have life-altering consequences. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, large trucks account for only 5% of the registered vehicles on the roads, but 22% of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in multi-vehicle accidents.
Drivers of commercial trucks, cars and pickups may take steps that reduce the severity of potentially devastating accidents. Here are some of the most common reasons for a big truck collision and how to avoid them.
Loss of control crashes
When a tractor-trailer truck loses control, it could jackknife, rollover, or cross lanes and go off the road. Wet surfaces, driver distractions, speed, potholes and road hazards often result in loss of control. Focusing on the road and understanding the process for straightening the truck or trailer and maintaining control can often prevent a crash.
Lane change crashes
Lane change events occur when a vehicle changes lanes. Blind spots, abrupt changes, not using blinkers or poorly adjusted mirrors contribute to these collisions. Staying in one lane as much as possible, checking mirrors frequently and using the turn signal well in advance can help prevent an accident.
Run under crashes
If a car cannot stop in time, it can hit the back of a truck or its trailer. Due to the additional height of a commercial vehicle, a passenger vehicle may run under the trailer. Malfunctioning lights, wide right turns and misjudging traffic speed contribute to these crashes.
If a truck cannot stop in time, it may hit the back of the car, motorcycle or bicycle in front of it with fatal results. Maintaining distances, driving slower and keeping the brakes in top condition and replacing tires when treads show wear and tear can reduce the potential for a crash.
Great West Casualty Company reports that these critical crashes often have catastrophic results. Truck collision avoidance systems can help avoid many crashes, but they can only do so much. If driver behavior is negligent, he or she may be liable for the accident.