Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents: How to Stay Safe on the Road

Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents: How to Stay Safe on the RoadCommercial truck accidents can be incredibly dangerous for everyone involved. The sheer size of commercial trucks means that these accidents can cause very serious injuries and property damage.

Unfortunately, reckless driving behaviors cause most truck accidents, especially on the busy Anaheim freeways, like the SR 91 and I-5, or the roads leading to Disneyland on Katella Avenue and Ball Road. Many of these accidents can be prevented with safer driving habits–both from truck drivers and everyday motorists. Here are some of the reasons why commercial truck accidents happen on the road and how we can prevent them.

Texting and Driving

Distracted driving is one of the major causes of truck accidents. Truck drivers spend so much of their time on the road and in traffic each day, so naturally, they may get bored. The same goes for other drivers on long commutes. When you’re bored, it can be tempting to check your text messages or look at social media, but looking away from the road for even a second could result in an accident. 

To reduce the temptation to check your phone, put it in a place you can’t reach while you’re driving. If you want to listen to music or podcasts while driving, set up your playlist ahead of time, so you don’t have to look away to adjust it. It’s also important to schedule breaks at rest stops where you can check your phone and unwind. 

Lack of Sleep 

Commercial truck driving shifts can be very long and exhausting. As a result, fatigue is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. If you know you’re going to be on the road the next day, getting enough sleep the night before is a must. It’s also important to fuel your body with healthy foods and drinks. 

Unfortunately, not all of these issues can be prevented with healthy habits. Some commercial truck companies schedule unreasonably long shifts for their drivers. There are federal laws that limit the amount of time a driver can be behind the wheel each day. While trucking companies should be complying with these laws, sometimes there are violations that slip through the cracks. 

Although fatigue is particularly common among truck drivers, it can happen to anyone who drives for a long period of time. While driving, if you notice trucks or passenger vehicles near you exhibiting odd driving patterns, like swerving, making abrupt stops, or not keeping up with the pace of the flow of traffic, keep your distance and get as far away as possible.

Poorly Trained Truck Driver

Some crashes involving large trucks are caused by inexperienced truck drivers. For example, although many truck drivers make sure to secure their cargo before take off, poorly trained drivers may skip this step. As a result, the cargo may fall off to oncoming drivers and cause serious injury to a lot of people on the road.

Another example of inexperience is driver error. It takes skill to drive huge commercial vehicles, and turning the wheel to quickly may cause the semi truck to tip over. It is every trucking company's responsibility to properly educate their drivers.

Take Precaution 

While it may seem obvious, following the rules of the road is the easiest way to prevent accidents. Most commercial truck drivers are very responsible, but not all truck drivers adhere to traffic laws. It can be tempting to speed or ignore road signs when you’ve been driving for a long time and just want to make it to your final destination. Refraining from speeding and other unsafe driving behaviors can help prevent trucking accidents and fatal crashes. 

Also, it’s wise to plan ahead. The earlier in advance you plan for a trip, the easier it is to avoid accidents. Things like unexpected traffic or road construction could result in a crash if you aren’t properly prepared. Before you head out for the day, double-check your route and check local traffic routes to make sure you’re ready for whatever you might encounter on the road. 

What to Do if You’ve Been Involved in Truck Accident

If you are involved in a commercial truck crash, you might find yourself wondering what to do in the moments after the crash happens. Getting into a crash with a commercial truck can be particularly dangerous, because trucks are so much larger than standard cars. 

The first and most important thing you will need to do is call 911 or have someone else call for you. Even if you don’t think you are injured, it is still very important to get checked by a medical professional. Calling 911 will also alert the police that there has been an accident. 

If you can, move over to the side of the road so you are safely away from any oncoming traffic. If your phone is readily available, document the scene by taking photos and videos while waiting for the police and medical professionals. These will help you later on when you are dealing with insurance adjusters. 

The next step is to get contact information and insurance information from the other parties involved in the accident. However, you’ll want to avoid any other discussion, and you’ll especially want to avoid admitting any kind of fault. If there are any other witnesses around, get their contact information as well. 

After you have received proper medical treatment, the next step is to notify your insurance company. Gather as much documentation of the accident as you can, including police reports, medical documents, photos, and more. 

Finally, consider reaching out to an Anaheim truck accident lawyer. Your lawyer can help you navigate the complex process of filing a personal injury lawsuit to ensure you are properly compensated.  

If you have been involved in a truck accident in Anaheim, you may be entitled to compensation. Hiring a California truck accident attorney can help you maximize your insurance payout and even file a personal injury lawsuit. Contact Katella Injury Attorneys today to schedule a free consultation.

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