3 mistakes by drivers that can lead to semi-truck crashes

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

A crash involving a semi-truck is more than just a disruption to someone’s day. It can be a life-altering experience. Heavy commercial trucks can cause catastrophic injuries and irreparable property damage.

Those in smaller vehicles are sometimes the party at fault for collisions with 18-wheelers. Seemingly inconsequential decisions in traffic can lead to a devastating collision. The three mistakes below are among the most common reasons why those in cars, pickup trucks or SUVs cause collisions with 18-wheelers.

Failing to respect vehicle blind spots

The trailers attached to commercial trucks make it very efficient to pick up or drop off loads. However, their size also makes them difficult for people to see around in traffic. Someone operating a commercial truck generally cannot see people directly behind or on either side of their trailer. Those in passenger vehicles behind semi-trucks typically cannot see around them to safely pass them because of the blind spot created by the trailer of the truck.

Getting too close for safe turns

The design of semi-trucks affects how they move in traffic. They require more space than smaller vehicles to complete turns. Especially when someone approaches an intersection with single lanes of traffic, it may be necessary to give a commercial truck extra space. Pulling too far forward in the intersection might lead to a preventable crash because the truck needs more space than the average vehicle to complete a turn.

Merging in front of a semi-truck

Some of the worst crashes involving semi-trucks begin with a driver passing the truck. When they merge back in front of the truck, they may not leave adequate space. Generally speaking, people need to travel at the same speed or faster than the semi-truck because they take so much longer to slow down than other vehicles. Drivers also need to leave more space between the rear of their vehicle in the front of the semi truck then they would when passing a smaller vehicle. Getting too close to the front of a truck might mean that the commercial driver cannot stop in time and ends up striking the passenger vehicle from the rear.

Drivers who understand these risks can reduce their chances of causing a semi-truck collision. With that said, collisions are not always avoidable. Therefore, it’s a good idea to remember that, provided that a victim is not primarily to blame for a crash that has caused them harm, filing an insurance claim or lawsuit could help compensate them for the challenges they’ve endured.