When passenger vehicles and commercial trucks collide, the results can be devastating. In 2017, over 4,000 people in the United States died in crashes involving large trucks, and most of those deaths were to the occupants of passenger vehicles.
The occupants of passenger vehicles are generally more vulnerable in crashes than truck drivers because large commercial trucks can weigh 20-30 times more than smaller vehicles. Commercial trucks also have a higher ground clearance and large blind spots, which can be hazardous for other drivers.
Common causes for crashes between commercial trucks and cars
Large trucks and the actions of those who drive them present some of the most common causes for crashes between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. Some common causes for this type of crash include:
- The slower braking capability of trucks
- Defective equipment, like brakes, installed in trucks
- Truck driver fatigue
- Truckers driving longer than federal regulations allow
- Truckers who are driving while distracted
- Truckers driving drunk or on drugs
Sometimes drivers of passenger vehicles cause crashes
Many crashes between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles are caused by trucks or the actions of truck drivers. However, sometimes crashes are caused by the actions of other drivers on the road who do not understand how to drive safely when near large commercial trucks.
Unsafe behaviors for drivers of passenger vehicles can include:
- Following too closely behind a truck
- Lingering in the blind spots of a truck
- Cutting in front of a truck
- Squeezing between a turning truck and the curb
Everyone on the road has a responsibility to drive safely. If the negligent actions of another driver caused you or a loved one to be severely injured in a crash, it may be appropriate to seek compensation for medical expenses.