Accidents involving large trucks

In 2012, large trucks made up nearly 10 percent of the vehicles involved in fatal Pennsylvania crashes, and these vehicles are especially dangerous because they are far bigger and heavier than passenger cars. Large trucks are also more likely to be involved in a multiple vehicle accident than a single vehicle accident, and there are some common reasons these crashes take place.

Using caution is important when near big rigs because it can be difficult to prevent a crash after a mistake has been made since these bigger vehicles may need a moment to transition when accelerating or breaking. A truck driver may be unable to slow down in time to avoid a collision if a vehicle quickly changes lanes in front of a truck or forgets to signal.

Many car drivers are the cause of truck collisions, but having an understanding of a large truck's capabilities can help motorists engage in safe behavior. Car drivers should be aware of where blind spots commonly exist for trucks, and they must also give big rigs room when they are passing or turning. Large trucks take a moment to accelerate but can travel fast, so car drivers must be careful when passing, turning left in front of a truck or moving in front of a truck from the roadside.

Some motorists may act incorrectly when driving near large trucks, but the actions of truck drivers can also cause wrecks. If a truck driver is distracted or otherwise negligent and causes a crash, injured parties may be able to seek compensation for medical bills and other losses associated with the accident through a personal injury lawsuit. In addition to naming the driver as a defendant, in some cases the driver's employer may be held responsible as well under the principle of vicarious liability.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Large Trucks", accessed on Jan. 24, 2015

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