If you were involved in a commercial truck accident, you may assume that the truck driver is to blame. However, 80 percent of car-truck accidents are due to the negligence of the car’s driver, according to the Commercial Carrier Journal. When car drivers do not drive safely around these large vehicles or take action that causes the truck driver to take evasive action, they may be responsible for the injuries other motorists sustain.
If you or someone close to you was involved in a Texas truck accident caused by the negligence of another car driver, you may have the right to pursue compensation against the at-fault driver. To learn more about how car driver negligence leads to truck accidents, read on. Then, contact the New Braunfels truck accident lawyers of the Burch Law Firm for a free case review.
Forms of Car Driver Negligence in Truck Accidents
The following forms of car driver negligence are the most common causes of New Braunfels truck and car accidents:
- Distracted driving – Car drivers who are texting or focused on phone apps, GPS devices, or conversations with passengers create safety hazards when their full attention is not on the road ahead.
- Driving under the influence – When a car driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs, they are unable to safely operate motor vehicles on the road. Slowed reaction time, drowsiness, or even aggression can lead to risky behaviors. Lowered inhibitions may cause collision scenarios that truck drivers are unable to avoid.
- Speeding – Car drivers who drive too fast for conditions or exceed posted speed limits pose a serious risk to truck drivers, who cannot slow, stop, or maneuver as quickly. Speeding car drivers sometimes force large trucks to slam on their brakes or turn sharply in evasive maneuvers that cause wrecks with other cars.
- Unsafe turns – Turning or merging in front of a large truck can be a risky maneuver if car drivers turn abruptly without warning and do not leave truckers with enough time or space to respond. To avoid colliding with these vehicles, truck drivers may swerve or come to a hard stop and crash into other cars.
- Unsafe lane changes – Car drivers who aggressively weave through lanes or change lanes without proper turn signals pose a huge risk. If a car makes an unsafe lane change in front of a truck, truck drivers may be forced to slam on their brakes, resulting in devastating rear-end crashes with any cars behind them.
- Improper passing – In some cases, car drivers may pass too closely in front of trucks on the highway or pass these trucks and immediately decelerate. Truck drivers who are not able to slow down or maneuver in time to avoid a crash may cause rear-end or sideswipe collisions with other vehicles.
- Driving in blind spots – Truck drivers have limited or zero visibility in certain blind spots in front of, behind, and to either side of their vehicles. Drivers who remain in these blind spot areas may leave truckers with few options to avoid collisions with other cars.
- Tailgating – Motorists who tailgate large commercial trucks may force truck drivers to avoid rear-end collisions by making risky maneuvers, putting others on the road in danger.
Although the forms of car driver negligence listed above are common causes of truck accidents, car drivers can create other risky situations. For example, car drivers who do not fully remove their out-of-service vehicles from active roadways may present unavoidable obstacles to truck drivers, who may collide with other cars.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Car driver distraction is one of the most common and deadly forms of driver negligence. Anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road can be a distraction, including a vehicle control system, GPS device, passenger, or even another car crash.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), all types of distractions belong to one or more of the three following categories:
- Visual distractions – Distractions that take car drivers’ eyes and visual attention away from the road are visual distractions. Common examples include text messages, dashboard indicators, GPS displays, and other vehicle occupants. Visually distracted car drivers may drift, slow, speed, or swerve into nearby traffic, sometimes forcing truck drivers into unavoidable collisions with other cars.
- Manual distractions – Manual distractions cause drivers to take their hands away from the steering wheel. Car drivers who drink their morning coffees, eat drive-thru meals, or type out text messages behind the wheel are taking part in manual distractions. They are not able to react as quickly or effectively to avoid possible collisions. Drivers who are manually distracted may engage in erratic or unsafe maneuvers that can cause nearby truck drivers to crash.
- Cognitive distractions – Distractions that keep car drivers’ minds off the road around them are known as cognitive distractions. When a phone call, text notification, personal issue, or passenger interaction prevents a car driver from paying full attention to their driving, they are often not able to drive safely or effectively. Cognitively distracted drivers may run red lights or even drift into nearby traffic near commercial trucks, increasing the likelihood of truck accidents.
The CDC also notes that text messaging is one of the most dangerous forms of car driver distraction, since it combines all three types of distraction in one activity. This negligent driving can result in catastrophic consequences when it causes a truck accident.
How Our New Braunfels Truck Accidents Lawyers Can Help
At Burch Law Firm, our New Braunfels truck accident lawyers will fight relentlessly for your rights and explore every available option to secure the compensation you deserve. If you need effective representation for your New Braunfels truck accident case, we are here to help you take your first steps toward financial relief and peace of mind.
We offer free, no-risk consultations, so you have nothing to lose from calling us or filling out our online contact form. When you call Burch Law Firm, you talk to an attorney. We have more than a quarter of a century’s worth of experience in personal injury law and look forward to working with you.