In trucking accidents, passenger vehicle drivers and truck drivers both have a duty to prevent accident. After an accident, it is typical for passenger vehicle drivers to blame truck drivers and for truck drivers to blame car drivers for an accident. Research has suggested that both truck driver error and passenger car error contribute to car accidents involving trucks.
For passenger car drivers, the main error involve not paying due attention to trucks. Some drivers simply do not exert special care around trucks. Common passenger car driver errors include:
1) Rapid lane changes near a truck. A truck cannot stop as quickly as a passenger car. Any sudden movements near a truck can cause an accident, since the truck needs extra time to move or stop.
2) Driving for extended periods of time in the truck’s blind spots. Large trucks have many blind spots – such as beside the truck and behind the truck. While it may be necessary to drive very briefly in these areas, you will want to get out of these “no-zones,” as they are called, as quickly as possible. If you cannot see the driver in his or her mirrors, the driver cannot usually see you.
3) Incorrect turns near a truck. When a truck is making a right turn, you should not be to the immediate right of the truck. Your car may be crushed or forced off the road if you are. Making a left turn in front of a truck can also be dangerous if you don’t give the truck enough time to slow down and stop.
4) Driving between large trucks. Driving between large trucks is not only scary – it is dangerous. When surrounded by large trucks, the passenger car driver often cannot see enough of the road to anticipate and respond to road conditions. Being stuck between two trucks also usually means being in the trucks’ blind spots.
Of course, truck drivers also have a responsibility to keep roads safe. There are a number of driver errors that truck drivers make which contribute to trucking accidents:
1) Incorrect training. Drivers need considerable training in driving, defensive driving, safety, and other measures to ensure that they can respond adequately to road conditions. Many truck accidents caused by truck driver error involve inexperienced or under-trained truck drivers.
2) Speed. Truck drivers who are in a hurry to make deadlines may scrimp on sleep, may take dangerous chemicals to stay awake, or may exceed speed limits. All of these behaviors are extremely dangerous and may contribute to truck accidents.