Risky Commercial Truck Maneuvers Cause Accidents

June 19, 2018 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Risky Commercial Truck Maneuvers Cause Accidents

Commercial Trucks Make Dangerous Maneuvers

Navigating the roads of Florida can be a daunting task. All kinds of weather, road hazards, and traffic congestions make the task of getting from point A to point B all the more difficult. At times the combination of these obstacles can cause a driver to make some risky maneuvers that can cause truck accidents. These reckless maneuvers are already dangerous enough when done in a small passenger vehicle but can become even more dangerous when done by large commercial trucks. It is already difficult enough to navigate the roads in a commercial truck without resorting to dangerous high-risk maneuvers.

How Tailgating Causes Semi Truck Accidents

There are times when the driver of a semi-truck may follow behind a smaller vehicle or even another truck just a bit too closely which is called, tailgating. When a driver maneuvers their truck so closely behind another vehicle, they put themselves at enormous risk of causing an accident. Tailgating is a risky maneuver for any vehicle but especially so for commercial trucks. The chance to rear-end a vehicle because of tailgating increases dramatically for a semi-truck. This is due to the size and weight of a semi-truck making braking significantly harder due to all the momentum behind the truck and trailer that needs to be stopped. Commercial trucks typically require several car lengths between them and the car in front of them for efficient braking. This gives the driver enough distance to ease their brakes gradually and bring the truck to a stop rather than slam them. In the event a truck is tailgating and is forced to slam their brakes, the truck and trailer run the risk of jackknifing. This is when the momentum behind a trailer pushes it to fold along the side of the truck that is coming to a stop. As one can imagine, a truck jackknifing accident can be catastrophic for any vehicles involved.

Switching Lanes Increases Risk of Truck Accidents

Moving from one lane to another always carries some level of risk. However, some settings can be particularly dangerous. When commercial trucks take to the interstates of America to deliver their goods, they will pretty much always have to engage in lane switching at some point or another. When switching lanes, a commercial truck driver has to maneuver the entirety of a 70-80 foot long tractor-trailer from one 12 foot wide lane to another. To say the task is intimidating would be an understatement considering how within the 70-80 feet length is almost 80,000 pounds of freight and truck. What makes lane switching for commercial trucks so risky is how semi-trucks have several blind spots that a car can easily occupy. Should a car occupy one of a truck's blind spots while it is attempting to switch lanes then the results can be catastrophic. A commercial tractor trailer's blind spots are located at the immediate rear of the trailer, close to the rear and left of the driver's side of the cab, the close right side of the truck cab, and the closed front of the cab. The closed front is not much of a concern but the immediate left and right of a driver's truck cab can hide small cars very easily.

Running Yellow Lights Is More Risky With Big Trucks

It is fairly obvious how dangerous rushing to make it through a yellow light can be for a truck and trailer that's 70-80 feet long. That sure doesn't stop some truck drivers. A semi-truck picking up speed to make it through a yellow light can rear-end cars since stopping a commercial truck is such a massive undertaking. A truck can also outright fail at beating the yellow light and barrel onward at full speed towards a red light and the traffic in its path. Since braking at that point would be as useful as politely asking the truck to stop, the truck would smash through any unlucky cars in its path like a sledgehammer through drywall.

U-Turns and Commercial Trucks Can Be Dangerous

When a truck attempts to make a U-turn, they commit to a time-consuming task that leaves them exposed and vulnerable. Sometimes truck drivers will risk making u-turns in places where this vulnerability can lead to a truck accident. For example, a truck driver could have read a map incorrectly and realized they are going the wrong way. In a rushed attempt to get back on the proper route, they take a risk and make a reckless U-turn right before a bend in the road so they can not lose time. While the length of the trailer is being brought to bear across the other lane, a car rounds the bend just a little too fast and slams into the trailer and underrides it.

Passing is More Dangerous in Big Rigs

The simple act of passing slow cars that clog up traffic is a maneuver that regular motorists take for granted. The act of passing and overtaking another vehicle is an incredibly risky maneuver for semi-trucks since it uses a combination of maneuvers that are already risky in their own right. First, the truck has to switch lanes and avoid hitting any cars possibly lurking in its blind spots. Then the truck has to speed up and hopes the car in front of them doesn't slam their brakes because bringing the truck to a stop is impossible thanks to the acceleration. Then the truck has to switch lanes all over again. Something can go wrong at any one of those points and cause a commercial truck accident. It is up to truck drivers to minimize the risk of accidents by not creating situations where a single mistake can possibly mean life or death for strangers sharing the road.

Seek a Skilled Truck Accident Attorney in Florida

When commercial truck drivers make risky maneuvers they can cause immense damage and injury which they can be held liable for. The reckless disregard for safety displayed by something like tailgating or rushing yellow lights can mean a driver can be found negligent in a truck accident injury claim. If you or a loved one have been involved in a commercial truck accident, then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for a free consultation on your claim. Our skilled lawyers have the expertise you need to secure the settlement you deserve. Please feel free to contact us with any questions. You can reach us in one of these 3 ways:
  • Call Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA at (727) 451-6900
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Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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