Cars and commercial trucks are forced to share the road every day. Unfortunately, sometimes truck drivers or drivers of passenger vehicles make unsafe choices when sharing the road. When this happens, car accidents can occur. Car accidents involving trucks are disproportionately likely to be fatal accidents as a result of the large size of trucks. Trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which means the force of a collision with a truck will be much greater than the force of a collision involving cars alone.
When trucks and cars collide, victims of resulting accidents need to determine who was at fault and understand what options they have for recovering compensation. If truckers were to blame, victims could pursue cases against the truck driver and/or against the trucking company the driver was employed by. If drivers of passenger cars were partially responsible, they can still sometimes pursue a claim for partial compensation with their damages based on the portion of blame attributed to truckers.
One recent tragic car accident in Alabama showed the grave outcomes of accidents when trucks and cars are not able to safely share the road. The accident was reported on by ABC 3340. According to ABC, a 17-year-old driver and a 12-year-old passenger were in the car together along with another passenger. The 17-year-old was driving. The car collided with a tractor trailer, with witnesses alleging the accident had happened when the driver cut the tractor-trailer off.
An Alabama State Trooper indicated the 12-year-old was transported to the hospital following the accident, but the severity of injuries was not yet known. The 17-year-old driver and another vehicle passengers whose age is unknown died in the accidents.
The specific cause of the accident is still under investigation and it is not clear if the teen driver actually did cut in front of the truck, if the trucker was driving inappropriately, or if the crash was the fault of both the trucker and the teen driver. Unfortunately, if the teen driver did cut the trucker off, the teen may have been unaware trucks have substantial blind spots and have long stopping distances.
Trucks have blind spots on all four sides of the vehicle, so a trucker may not be able to see a car beside him or a car which pulls out in front of him. Motorists need to remember if they cannot see the face of the trucker, the trucker probably cannot see them.
Trucks also have long stopping distances thanks to their large size, which creates substantial momentum. Even when a trucker hits the brakes, the truck won't stop right away. While a passenger car may be able to hit the brakes and prevent a crash if another motorist cuts in front of them, truck drivers often cannot do so.
Motorists need to be aware of added risks trucks present due to their size and structure, and should drive more cautiously around trucks to ensure they share the road safely and accidents like this recent tragic crash don't happen.