12 of the Biggest Causes of 18 Wheeler Accidents in Tennessee
When driving on almost any road, you are going to see commercial trucks. These 18 wheelers are significantly larger than personal vehicles, and due to their size and weight, accidents involving these trucks result in more serious injuries and sometimes even death. We want you to be aware of the leading causes of trucking accidents, so you can stay safe on the road. Here are 12 of the biggest causes of 18 wheeler accidents in Tennessee:
Accidents Caused by Truck Drivers
Every driver on the road has a duty of faith to follow the laws and rules, but truck drivers have even more rules and regulations to follow than passenger vehicle drivers. Here are some of the types of accidents that are caused by 18 wheeler truck drivers:
1. Wide Turns
Commercial trucks have a significantly larger turning radius than a personal vehicle. During a left turn, the driver is able to see since he or she sits on the left side of the vehicle, but during a right turn, the view from the convex mirror is obstructed, making it more difficult to see on the right side. Additionally, when drivers turn right, the trailer doesn’t follow the path of the truck, so the driver must correct this by turning wider.
2. Tire Blowouts
Tire blowouts are another leading cause of 18 wheeler accidents in Tennessee. These blowouts can be caused by poor maintenance or improper tire inflation. Sometimes the drivers and companies do everything correctly, but roadway hazards such as potholes cause tires to blow.
A “jackknife” on a commercial truck happens when the axle brakes lock up and cause the truck to skid, which can then result in a rollover. These kinds of accidents are extremely dangerous.
4. Unsecured Loads
An unsecured load can cause other drivers to be seriously injured on the road. This happens when a semi truck is carrying a load but it is not strapped down or secured by means of ropes, straps, chains, or something else.
One of the most dangerous accidents caused by an 18 wheeler is an underride. An underride is when a passenger vehicle slides beneath the truck, causing it to be pinned. Underrides usually cause severe damage to the roof of vehicles, which can result in brain injuries, skull fracture, or decapitation.
While no one can control the weather, everyone can control how they drive in inclement weather. Fog, heavy rains, snow, and high-speed winds are factors that can contribute to an 18 wheeler accident.
7. Driver Fatigue
Another major cause of semi truck accidents is driver fatigue. Many trucking companies require a truck driver to reach their destination in unrealistic time periods, causing them to overextend themselves. A lack of sleep and rest is a major factor in driver fatigue accidents.
Accidents Caused by Car Drivers
Truck drivers aren’t always to blame in 18 wheeler accidents in Tennessee. There are many instances where the actions of passenger vehicle drivers cause accidents. Here are the top reasons trucking accidents are caused by car drivers:
8. Pulling in Front of a Truck
One of the biggest causes of semi truck accidents are car drivers pulling in front of trucks. 18 wheelers are unable to stop quickly due to their weight and size, so when a car pulls out in front of a truck, they are more likely to hit the vehicle.
9. Merging Improperly
Car drivers may improperly merge around trucks, which can cause accidents. If you are trying to pull onto a highway or interstate, you need to accelerate properly in front of a truck or wait for it to pass to prevent an accident.
10. Misjudging Truck Speed
Another cause of trucking accidents are when a driver misjudges a truck’s speed at an intersection. Drivers may think they have enough time to turn left on a green light and pull out in front of a truck, but like we previously mentioned, truck drivers cannot stop on a dime.
11. Driving Between Trucks
Driving too close to semi trucks can cause accidents, which is why you don’t want to drive in between trucks. They may not be able to see you in their blind spot, they may have a tire blow out and need to get off the road, or any number of things could happen. Be sure to give yourself enough space between commercial vehicles and your own on the road.
12. Not Giving a Truck Enough Room for a Right Turn
As we mentioned before, semi trucks have a wide right turn. If you find yourself on the right side of an 18 wheeler, leave enough space for them to turn right. Do not get too close because they could hit your vehicle.
We want everyone to be as safe as possible while they are driving on the road. However, accidents do happen. If you have been in an 18 wheeler accident in Tennessee and want to take the next steps for a personal injury claim, contact a truck accident attorney today.