A fully loaded commercial truck can be as long as 80 feet and weigh 80,000 pounds. When these vehicles hit a passenger car from behind, they cause extensive damage, with severe injuries and even fatalities to those in the smaller vehicle.
“Rear-end collisions account for more than 30 percent of accidents. Of these, a vast majority of rear-end accidents are causes by trucks
There are various reasons why you might be easily rear-ended by a truck:
They Need Longer Braking Distances
Due to the truck’s weight and length, they need more time and space to stop, even when traveling at a moderate speed. They need at least 500 feet to come to a total stop. Those with double trailers need even more space and time. This makes rear-ended collisions the number one cause of collisions in trucks more than other vehicles.
A sudden stop by a smaller vehicle or a car darting in front of them creates an inevitable crash because the truck driver won’t have the time to stop the truck before striking the other vehicle.
With the sheer weight and length of the truck, drivers need to be alert at all times. Operating a truck while distracted takes only a split second for an accident to occur. These drivers need to pay close attention to what is happening on the road because being distracted for just two seconds can cause a serious accident.
The state requires truck drivers not to operate cell phones while driving, but they have been known to flaunt these rules repeatedly, leading to collisions. Other activities distract them, including talking on the phone, fiddling with onboard gadgets, eating or conversing with someone. Little do they know that a few seconds of distracted driving in a truck is all that is needed to cause a rear-end collision that can change the lives of many people.
Driving Over the Speed Limit
Going over the speed limit affects the braking distance that we have mentioned before. The faster the truck travels, the more distance is required for it to stop in case of an emergency. A high speed reduces the reaction time of the driver as well.
Driving While Intoxicated
With the weight and size of the truck, the driver operating it needs to be sober at all times. This is not always the case. Long-distance truck drivers have been known to take a few drinks while on the road to stay alert, only to end up causing rear-end collisions due to impaired judgments.
Some truck drivers have been known to take over-the-counter drugs to help them stay awake for long periods on the road. The results are just like you guessed – accidents happen on the road due to fatigue that leads to drowsy driving.
Who is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?
The liability of the truck drivers varies from case to case. However, some general situations might hold the truck driver or owner fully responsible for the crash. These include:
The driver could stop the truck but failed to do so, leading to the collision
The owner didn’t maintain the truck the as expected or hired a driver that was not fully qualified
The driver was distracted at the time of the accident
These situations directly hold the driver or the owner of the truck responsible. However, you have a burden to prove that the driver was negligent for you to file a successful claim for compensation.
It Is Crucial To Work with an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents can be complicated if you don’t have an experienced lawyer to guide you through the process. Contact truck accident lawyers to help you determine who was at fault and file a claim for compensation before the statute of limitation expires.