18-Wheeler Crashes: What You Need to Know

Every day, large commercial trucks, also known as 18-wheelers, travel our roads and highways, carrying goods and materials to destinations around the country. These vehicles are an essential part of our economy, but they can also be extremely dangerous. In 2019, there were almost 4,500 large truck crashes in the United States that resulted in fatalities. As a driver or passenger, it's essential to know what causes these crashes and how to avoid them.  

What Causes 18-Wheeler Crashes?

There are many factors that can contribute to 18-wheeler crashes. Some of the most common include:  

Driver fatigue: Truck drivers are often under immense pressure to meet deadlines and deliver their loads on time. As a result, they may be tempted to take risks on the road, such as driving for long periods of time without rest breaks, speeding, or weaving in and out of traffic.  

In addition, many truck drivers are paid based on how many miles they drive in a day. This incentive can lead them to push themselves to their limits—and beyond. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, fatigue contributed to886 large truck crashed in 2017.  

Aggressive driving: Aggressive driving is any driving that puts other people in danger. This can include things like tailgating or cutting off other drivers. Speeding is another form of aggressive driving; this is dangerous as larger trucks take longer to stop than smaller vehicles. Thus, when truck drivers speed, they increase the chances of being involved in an accident.  

Improper turning: Making a turn with an 18-wheeler requires more time and space than other vehicles. When truck drivers try to make turns too quickly, it can result in an accident.  

Poorly maintained trucks: Poorly maintained trucks can also pose a danger to other motorists. For example, if a truck's brakes are not properly serviced, the vehicle may not be able to stop in time to avoid an accident. Inspections of large commercial trucks are required by law, but many companies choose to cut corners in order to save money—and lives are put at risk as a result.  

How Can You Avoid 18-Wheeler Crashes?

As a driver, you can help avoid 18-wheeler crashes by following these safety tips:  

Don't tailgate: Truck drivers need extra space to stop, so giving them plenty of room on the road is important. The best way to do this is by avoiding tailgating.  

Use your blinkers: When you change lanes or make a turn use your blinkers so that truck drivers know what you're doing and can adjust accordingly.  

Keep an eye out: Be especially cautious when driving near trucks at night or during bad weather conditions. These factors make it more difficult for truck drivers to see what's happening on the road ahead.  

As a driver or passenger, it's essential to be aware of the dangers posed by large trucks. Understanding what causes 18-wheeler crashes and taking precautions on the road can help avoid becoming involved in one of these accidents.  

If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler accident, it is important that you seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At Sanchez Medina, our lawyers have experience handling all types of truck accident cases, and we will fight tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only. The provision of this material does not create an attorney-client relationship between the firm and the reader and does not constitute legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and the contents of this newsletter are not a substitute for legal counsel. Do not take action in reliance on the contents of this material without seeking the advice of counsel.

The information contained in this blog may or may not reflect the most current legal developments. Accordingly, information in this blog is not promised or guaranteed to be correct or complete, and should not be relied upon as such. Readers should conduct their own appropriate legal research.

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