Throughout 2019, 4,119 people died in truck crashes, with hundreds of thousands more sustaining injuries. The size of commercial trucks is just one of the many reasons why truck driving in Utah is dangerous. For example, a semi-truck can be up to 75 feet long and weigh up to 80,000 pounds. On the other hand, an average vehicle weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. A crash with a large commercial truck can cause drivers and passengers to sustain severe injuries. Understanding the dangers of truck driving may help keep you safe on Utah roads.
If you are in an accident with a truck in Utah, contact the truck accident attorneys at Feller & Wendt. We will launch a thorough investigation into the accident to establish who was at fault. If we discover the other party acted negligently, you may file for financial compensation to cover any accident-related expenses.
What Makes Truck Accidents So Dangerous?
In addition to the massive size of some commercial trucks, the cargo and strict delivery schedules contribute to why truck driving is dangerous. Commercial trucks carry different cargo, some of which may be hazardous, making a collision even more dangerous. Hazardous cargo, such as flammable materials, heavy objects, and oversized loads, may cause more severe injuries and damages. Cargo that is not loaded correctly or secured might also cause an accident.
Some trucking companies hold their drivers to strict work policies that require them to drive for long periods, regardless of weather, traffic, and road conditions that may make work more challenging. Additionally, too many truckers drive drowsy or work overtime, both of which can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. Drowsy drivers can take longer to react to road or weather hazards or fall asleep at the wheel, making truck accidents more dangerous than they already are.
Types of Truck Accidents in Utah
Since trucks are much larger, they are prone to more dangerous accidents. Understanding the types of truck accidents in Utah will be vital to your attorney. They might be able to work backward from your information to help prove liability.
- Jackknife accidents: Jackknifing occurs when a commercial vehicle folds into itself, forming a 90-degree angle. This occurs when a trucker brakes suddenly or the brakes lock up, causing the trailer to swing out.
- Wide-turn crashes: Drivers sometimes need to swing left to turn right. However, truckers often do not account for other vehicles on the road, causing them to crash into the trailer.
- Blindspot collisions: Truck drivers will have a hard time seeing vehicles that sit in their blind spots. Generally, if you can see a truck’s mirror, the driver can see you.
Other types of accidents include T-bone crashes, tire blowouts, distracted driving, and truck rollovers.
How to Stay Safe When Driving Near a Truck
Driving next to commercial vehicles can be dangerous, so you should always proceed with extreme caution. The risk of an accident increases with these vehicles since they have more significant blind spots, cannot maneuver as quickly, and take longer to stop. Keep the following in mind when driving near a truck in Utah:
- Avoid blind spots: Trucks have much larger blind spots compared to traditional vehicles. Never drive too closely behind or in front of the vehicle. Additionally, avoid the lane next to the driver’s side, extending about half the length of the trailer.
- Pass safely: You must pass a semi-truck safely. Drivers need time to react and adjust their speed accordingly because they cannot stop as quickly as other vehicles. When passing a truck, always approach from the left side and keep a consistent speed. Always signal before merging back into the lane and never cut off the truck. Conversely, slow down and allow for there to be plenty of space if a truck passes you.
- Watch for wide turns: Trucks need more room to turn, and the cab and trailer will follow a different path. Truck drivers may need to swing left to gain more room for a right-hand turn, or they may start a turn from the middle lane of traffic. Never pass a truck as it prepares to make a turn.
- Wear your seat belt: Wearing your seat belt is the law in Utah, and it can keep you safe if you are in an auto accident. It will keep you from moving around the vehicle should a truck hit you.
Contact the Utah Truck Accident Attorneys at Feller & Wendt Today
Not only is driving a truck and accidents involving a truck dangerous, but they are also often more complicated. There may be multiple parties liable for your damages. If you sustained injuries from a truck accident in Utah, contact Feller & Wendt. Our truck accident lawyers will investigate your claim and inform you of potential legal options.
If you have a case, our attorneys will pursue financial compensation on your behalf while you focus on recovering. To schedule a free consultation, call (801) 499-5060 or complete our contact form today.