Drivers can make a wide range of errors that can lead to accidents on the road. While this applies to anyone driving a regular car, truck, and SUV, it also applies to professional drivers behind the wheel of a large commercial truck as well. These errors can result in crashes:
Engaging in activities such as texting, talking on the phone, eating, or using in-car entertainment systems diverts a driver’s attention from the road, increasing the risk of accidents. Florida has a law that addresses distracted driving. Known as the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law,” it prohibits texting, typing, or reading messages on a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle. The law aims to reduce distractions that contribute to accidents on the road.
Under this law texting while driving is a primary offense, meaning law enforcement can pull over drivers solely for texting while driving. It’s illegal to manually type or enter multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communication device.
Driving above the posted speed limit or too fast for road conditions reduces a driver’s ability to react to unexpected situations and increases the severity of accidents. Sometimes, truck drivers are in a hurry and don’t drive as slowly and carefully as they should. While this is common, it doesn’t make it okay, safe, or legal.
Following the vehicle in front too closely reduces the driver’s reaction time and increases the risk of rear-end collisions. This is particularly true for large trucks, as their ability to stop is much slower than a car’s.
Running Red Lights and Stop Signs
Ignoring traffic signals and signs can lead to collisions at intersections, where vehicles from different directions cross paths. This is often the result of a combination of one of the other items on this list, like distracted driving. Perhaps the truck driver was looking at their phone and didn’t see the stop sign.
Failure to Yield Right of Way
Stop signs and red flights aren’t the only thing to pay attention to. If a commercial truck driver does not yield the right of way to other vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists when required by traffic rules, it can result in a serious accident.
Improper Lane Changes and Merging
Changing lanes or merging without signaling, checking blind spots, or properly assessing the traffic situation can lead to sideswipes or collisions.
Drunk or Drugged Driving
Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs a driver’s judgment, coordination, and reaction time, significantly increasing the risk of accidents. While this is thankfully rare, it’s not unheard of for a truck driver to not be sober. If it is the cause of an accident, the results are catastrophic. In fact, 35% of fatal truck accidents are caused by drug use, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
Driving while fatigued or drowsy can lead to reduced alertness, slower reaction times, and even falling asleep at the wheel, all of which can cause accidents. The fact of the matter is that driving tired is pretty close to driving drunk.
Ignoring Weather Conditions
Here in South Florida, it rains a lot! Failing to adjust driving behavior to match weather conditions, such as driving too fast on wet roads, can lead to loss of control of the truck and an accident.
Failure to Use Turn Signals
Not signaling when turning or changing lanes can lead to confusion and accidents, as other drivers might not anticipate the driver’s intentions.
Backing Up Without Proper Visibility
Trucks may wrongfully assume the sound of them backing up will cause other cars to get out of their way. Reversing without properly checking mirrors and surroundings can lead to collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, or objects.
Misjudging Gaps in Traffic
Commercial trucks are much longer than other vehicles on the road. Attempting to merge into traffic or change lanes without accurately assessing the available space can lead to accidents.
All of these errors can have serious consequences to the smaller cars they hit, leading to injuries, fatalities, and property damage. Practicing defensive driving, staying focused and attentive, obeying traffic laws, and adapting to changing road conditions are essential to reducing the likelihood of accidents caused by truck driver errors. Even if you do everything right, you may still be in an accident caused by someone else’s error.
Hire Miami Accident Attorneys After a Truck Accident
Call upon a truck accident lawyer to fight on your behalf. After an accident with a truck, it is very possible that you are entitled to damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. It isn’t automatic though; you’ll need to fight for it. We have experience doing just that. Reach out to our lawyers today and we’ll begin working on your behalf.