Driver Negligence in Trucking Accidents
Truck drivers are vital to the economy of this nation. Most of these drivers are highly skilled and consistently drive in a safe manner. In fact, most truck accidents are caused by the other motorist. However, some truck drivers do engage in dangerous driving behaviors on a regular basis, putting other motorists in grave danger.
When you are involved in an accident that involves a large truck, you are likely to be injured, sometimes severely. The size and power of these vehicles make them deadly in the hands of a reckless driver. When you are on the road, you need to be aware of these behaviors and take steps to keep yourself safe. If you are injured in a truck collision, you will need expert medical and legal help.
You probably know drivers who seem to have an accident or more a year. Bad drivers often learn nothing from a collision. That trend applies to truck drivers as well. According to a recent study by the American Transportation Research Institute, truck drivers who have been in one accident are more likely than other drivers to be in another. In short, reckless drivers are likely to stay reckless drivers unless they benefit from aggressive intervention. The study found that if a driver had a reckless driving violation on their record, they were 114% more likely to be in another accident.
Reckless Driving Behaviors
The violations most associated with repeated accidents are reckless driving, failure to yield the right away, improper signal usage, improper passing and improper lane change. Other reckless truck driver behaviors include:
- Driving more than 15 mph over the speed limit
- Following too closely
- Failure to obey traffic signs
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Improper passing
- Hours of service violation
Reckless drivers in any size vehicle tend to exhibit the same type of bad road decisions. The drivers of compact cars can be responsible for traffic accidents, too, of course, but when a truck driver is reckless, the chances are greatly increased that someone will be injured or killed. Big trucks cause immense damage, even in “small” accidents. A driver’s mistakes often have huge consequences.
Protecting Yourself from Reckless Driving
You need to treat every big truck with respect by giving it plenty of room to maneuver. When a reckless driver is at the wheel, your precautions are more important than ever. Remember to stay well back of a large truck. It takes much more time for big rigs to slow, stop and turn. Also, a reckless truck driver is not spending much time looking out for other vehicles, so you have to look out for yourself.
Experts also recommend that you never pass a big truck on the right side. All trucks have blind spots, but they are more pronounced on this side. It’s worth waiting to pass on the left, no matter how impatient you are to get clear of the big rig.
If the driver of a big truck wants to pull in front of you, let them, even if you think they are violating your road rights. You can easily be in an accident if you speed up to keep the truck behind you. It may not be fair, but you cannot win in a contest with a big truck, especially if the driver is being reckless.
If you are stuck behind a reckless truck driver, don’t make a reckless move of your own to pass them. Instead, consider taking an exit, pulling into a gas station and calming down for a minute. When you get back on the road, the offending truck driver will be gone, and they won’t be able to play road warrior with you.
In some rural Illinois areas, you can be stuck behind a large truck on a two-lane road. The speed of these trucks varies greatly, particularly when they are going uphill. Do not attempt to pass them unless you are on a flat stretch of road with great visibility. Some legal passing areas may not be long enough for you to safely get by a big truck, so wait until you have plenty of room or don’t attempt to pass at all.
Reporting Reckless Drivers
When you encounter a reckless truck driver, you need to report the incident in order to keep others safe. You can out reckless truck drivers in several ways. Many trucks have their company’s telephone number on the trailer so that you can report the erratic or reckless driving to the operator’s management team. Trucking companies want to weed out dangerous drivers because they cause serious liability issues.
You can also report drivers to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website or call the Department of Transportation’s number – 1-888-DOT-SAFT (368-7238). In case of emergency, the FMCSA urges motorists to call 911. Don’t just complain. Take action to protect yourself and others.
Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.
Chicago is one of the biggest trucking hubs in the United States and the world. Trucks help the city run, but they also make traffic more dangerous. Many motorists are injured in trucking accidents in the Chicago area each year. If you are the victim of a truck collision, contact Whiteside & Goldberg. Their skilled lawyers have years of experience dealing with the victims of these serious and often life-threatening accidents.
The attorneys at Whiteside & Goldberg understand how traumatic these accidents are and how they affect every aspect of your life. At Whiteside & Goldberg, they offer you a free consultation and explain how you can get the compensation that you need and deserve. You pay nothing until the firm gets a settlement for you.
For more information on how Whiteside & Goldberg can help, call 312-334-6875 to reach the Michigan Avenue office or 815-730-7535 to contact the Shorewood location. When you’ve been in a truck collision, you need the best legal representation possible to protect your rights and speed your recovery.
The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.