Truck Accidents Caused by Unsecured Cargo
Whether you’re traveling on highways or residential streets, defensive driving is vital. In fact, many car accidents can be avoided by defensive driving. But most tips for defensive driving often leave out best practices for driving near large trucks with excess cargo. Collisions involving these oversized trucks and smaller passenger vehicles can have tragic consequences, so it’s important to be prepared.
Oftentimes, trucking accidents cause devastating results to those involved, especially when a truck collides with a passenger car. When a truck driver is injured in one of these accidents, it may be difficult for them to cope in the aftermath because they may be out of work for a prolonged period of time or lose their job.
It’s important to know how to avoid truck accidents. But if you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Arizona, contact the Phoenix accident attorneys at ELG Law. Our team of truck accident lawyers is here to help. While not all auto accidents with trucks can be avoided, there are a few ways you can stay safe next time you hit the road.
One of the most common (and dangerous) types of truck accidents is jackknife incidents, especially those caused by unsecured cargo. Jackknifing occurs when a truck’s trailer comes unattached from the cab or causes the cab to turn on its side. Jackknifing can happen for several different reasons, including but not limited to:
- Travel on very wet or icy roads.
- Abrupt braking, which causes the trailer with tremendous weight and momentum to shift off-course.
- Any travel at a high rate of speed and subsequent abrupt action, especially with a trailer containing a light load that’s more likely to be volatile.
- Travel with improperly loaded cargo in the trailer, when all of the weight is on one side.
- Travel with improperly secured cargo, which can suddenly shift in one direction in response to a turn.
In addition, studies have shown that the likelihood of jackknifing is much greater when a truck encounters curves or travels downhill at excessive speeds.
Driving Near Large Trucks with Cargo
It’s hard to avoid unsecured cargo accidents as another traveler on the road. But keeping enough space around your vehicle is essential when you’re traveling next to large trucks. To drive safely near trucks, simply give them more space. Make sure you always drive at least five seconds behind a truck to give yourself enough time to react as well. Though you can’t control other drivers’ actions or improperly-secured cargo, you can increase your reaction time and awareness of other vehicles.
Plus, you should always avoid other drivers’ blind spots on the road. When it comes to large trucks, this rule is especially important. Large trucks have more blind spots and larger blind spots, blocking out a huge amount of space. Avoid the spaces 20 feet ahead of the truck and 30 feet behind the truck to avoid a driver’s blind spots, and avoid the area adjacent to the driver’s side.
Observe Traffic Laws
Finally, follow traffic laws. It seems intuitive but following traffic laws in your county is extremely important. First, wearing your seatbelt at all times is one of the easiest ways to avoid truck accidents and auto accidents in general. In Arizona, drivers and front-seat passengers, as well as passengers under age 16, are required to wear seat belts by law. Seatbelts protect you in the event of a collision and reduce your risk of injury or death after an accident.
Next, remember to adjust your headlights. Bright headlights could affect truck drivers’ sight because they reflect off trucks’ rearview mirrors easily. When headlights impair a truck driver’s vision, it may affect their ability to operate their truck safely. At the same time, it’s important to use your headlights at night so that truck drivers can see your vehicle.
That said, remember to be cognizant of your headlights at all times, particularly when you’re using your high beams. Lower your high beams when you see an oncoming truck or vehicle on the roadway.
Truck Accident Attorney in Arizona
When you keep these tips for driving safely near trucks in mind, you’ll be well-prepared on the road. But even the best drivers can’t always avoid truck accidents. If you’re injured or your vehicle is damaged in a truck accident, contact our Phoenix accident attorneys at ELG Law. Call us at (623) 562-3838 for a free consultation and legal representation today. Whether you’re a truck driver who’s been injured or a passenger car driver who’s been involved in a truck accident, it’s important to seek legal recourse in the aftermath of a crash.