Car rental and truck rental companies offer drivers of passenger cars trucks they can rent for moves and home projects. Some of these trucks are large vehicles that can transport everything in a 3-4 bedroom house. While they’re available for rental and while motorists assume they’re safe, these trucks can increase the risk of car accidents in a few ways:
- They have large blind spots. Trucks have large blind spots that can make them very hard to park and drive. Passenger car drivers may not be used to the size and visibility challenges that can come with a large vehicle.
- Some may have maintenance issues. Investigative reports and journalists have uncovered some concerning details about truck rentals. They have found that some trucks have mechanical problems that sometimes go unaddressed.
- Inexperienced drivers may overload the trucks. Too heavy a load can place extra pressure on the tires, leading to tire blowouts. Overloaded trucks can also handle poorly, leading to a loss of control on the roads.
- Unsecured cargo can be a factor. Just as inexperienced drivers may overload trucks, they may also fail to correctly secure the cargo. If it shifts during a drive, the driver can lose control of the truck. If a motorist fails to distribute cargo correctly, the truck may pull to one side or may even be vulnerable to rollover accidents.
- Passenger car drivers may have a lack of training. Truck drivers need to get in-classroom training and experience on the road before they can drive big rigs and tractor trailers. The training passenger car drivers get for their license is very different. They may not have the training and experience to safely drive a larger truck, even if they’re legally allowed to rent one.
- Large trucks handle differently. Larger trucks take longer to come to a complete stop and they make wide turns. Passenger car drivers may not be used to the way larger vehicles handle, and this inexperience can lead to human error and an accident.
Preventing Rental Truck Accidents
Large rental trucks can break down suddenly or can lead to near-misses or even crashes. If you need to move or complete a home reno project and need a truck, here are some ways to reduce the risk:
- Consider having someone else drive. Large trucks are best left to the experts. If budget is a concern, there are services that drop off a trailer to your home so you can fill it and will then move the cargo (with a professional driver) to your destination. These are often comparable to renting a truck when it comes to price. You can also rent a truck and look for a more experienced truck driver to drive it for you. This can also be more cost-effective.
- Choose the right size truck. If you must rent and drive a truck yourself, choose the smallest size you can, while still making sure the truck is rated for the amount and weight of cargo you’ll be moving.
- Start small. When you rent the truck, try driving it in quiet areas first to get used to handling the vehicle. If possible, ask someone at the rental service to demonstrate how to drive the truck safely.
- Make sure the truck is safe. Take the truck to a qualified mechanic for a quick look-over before moving or working with the vehicle. While it’s an extra expense, a mechanic service can spot issues which could make the truck dangerous.
- Give yourself more time. Drive the speed limit and give yourself time for plenty of rest breaks. Take it slowly so you can stay as safe as possible.
If you have been injured by someone who was driving a truck recklessly, or if you were injured after renting a truck from a negligent company, call Flaxman Law Group to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with a truck collision attorney. We can review whether you have a claim and answer your questions. Our legal team has over 60 years of combined experience and we have worked with many clients who have been injured in truck collisions.