Commercial vehicles such as eighteen-wheelers are necessary for our economy, but are also present dangers on our roadways that are predominantly occupied by passenger vehicles. Oftentimes, a traffic accident between a passenger vehicle and a commercial truck is caused in part by an unsafe act on the part of the vehicle driver. They lack the knowledge of a truck’s performance capabilities, including limits associated with acceleration, braking, and visibility. Some of the most common unsafe practices by a passenger vehicle driver when driving alongside commercial trucks include:
- Driving in the areas behind and beside a truck where the truck driver has limited or zero visibility
- Changing lanes abruptly in front of a truck
- Misjudging an approaching truck’s speed at an intersection, and turning in front of the truck.
- Merging improperly into traffic or unsafe passing, causing a truck to maneuver or brake quickly.
On the other hand, commercial truck drivers who are inadequately trained in driving techniques, safety concerns, and defensive driving can be just as dangerous. It is equally dangerous to impose unrealistic schedules and expectations that encourage drivers to hurry, despite the safety risks involved. Some of the most common unsafe practices by a commercial vehicle driver include:
- Driver fatigue which is the leading cause of truck accidents
- Alcohol and substance abuse
- Failure to inspect and maintain the tractor and trailer before, during, and after a trip
- Excessive speeding to meet deadlines
- Driving more than the mandated hours without a rest period
- Improper loading of the trailer
These errors on the part of the trucker and the passenger vehicle driver may seem insignificant, but can be deadly consequences. Sometimes it’s the fault of one or a combination of both. Knowledge and action on both sides can prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Drive defensively when sharing the road.
Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by plaintiffs involved in pending, personal injury litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association as well as their ABA Advisory Committee, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.