Driving is part of daily life, but it is also one of the biggest sources of injury risk. Motor vehicle collisions are a leading cause of premature death and severe injury in the United States. Many motorists become so comfortable with driving that they fail to make safety their priority.
For example, some motorists increase their chances of a crash with a semi-truck through unsafe habits that they may not even realize they have. While a significant portion of the crashes between passenger vehicles and semi-trucks are the fault of the bigger vehicle, the average driver can easily make mistakes that increase their risk of a wreck.
How might motorists contribute to a heightened risk of being involved in a semi-truck collision?
Getting too close
The overall size of commercial vehicles creates significant blind spots. Although some commercial trucks have extra mirrors to help drivers overcome those blind spots, there are still large areas around the trailer of a semi-truck that are not readily visible to the driver. Frequently, those driving passenger vehicles end up in the blind spots around commercial trucks, which may then lead to a crash when the truck merges into another lane or turns. They may also fail to leave adequate space when approaching an intersection where a semi-truck may conduct a turn which could also lead to a collision.
Most drivers are relatively assertive in traffic. They may quickly move into another lane when the flow of traffic is too slow or try to get around a vehicle. Unfortunately, drivers merging on highways and other multi-lane roads sometimes misjudge where is it safe to merge. They might merge in front of a semi-truck without leaving extra space. Large trucks take longer to stop and slow down than passenger vehicles, meaning that drivers usually need to leave twice as much space if they hope to avoid a crash. Even when those operating passenger vehicles technically do everything right, they might end up hurt in a wreck caused by a truck driver who falls asleep at the wheel or drives too fast given road conditions.
Those involved in semi-truck collisions may be eligible for compensation from insurance. In scenarios where a truck driver made a major mistake or poor maintenance contributed to a wreck, they may even have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Ultimately, seeking to reduce one’s chances of causing a wreck can help protect people both physically and financially.