Common sense tells us anytime we see the word “always” we should crank our critical thinking button up to its highest setting. Truck drivers cannot be held responsible for every truck crash that occurs. Yet when it comes to trucking accident claims, parties are often compelled to point fingers at truck drivers before examining all of the facts.
Truck accidents are like any other motor vehicle crash: determining liability can be complicated. And in many cases, other parties carry or share the blame for serious accidents.
In a collision between a passenger car and a commercial truck, those driving smaller vehicles often suffer the most damage based on simple rules of physics. However, individual motorists often take chances and make unwise decisions when sharing the road with trucks. And professionals who operate commercial vehicles tend to follow more stringent precautions because their jobs depend upon their ability to travel safely between destinations.
As this article points out, motorists put themselves at risk of causing a crash when they:
- Drive in a truck’s blind spot
- Cut off a semi-truck by turning left in front of one
- Merge incorrectly
- Change lanes abruptly or without sufficient room in front of a truck
- Follow the truck too closely
- Text while driving
- Drive while impaired
Generally, motorists endanger themselves and truckers when they fail to share the road safely with commercial-sized vehicles.
Weather can create problems for all drivers, regardless of the vehicle they are operating. Ice, snow, or sleet can make road surfaces slippery; poor road transport infrastructure or maintenance can create hazards; wind can also cause a truck to sway or rollover.
While there are some ways motorists can reduce their risk of accidents caused by these and other environmental factors, the fact is that they can and do contribute to crashes.
Too often, litigants jump to conclusions or oversimplify liability issues after a crash. They put all of the blame on a single error, or they fail to properly investigate the accident. When individual drivers’ behavior, inclement weather, and other missteps, like improper loading or failing to replace a defective brake part, are taken into consideration, several parties may be culpable for the crash.
Truck accidents can be catastrophic, and they can be enormously complex. Thus, competent legal support is critical to resolving trucking and transportation incidents. If you have a fleet of commercial vehicles and have questions about controlling risks or confronting accident claims, feel free to get in touch with me for guidance.