Although stay-at-home orders have kept many drivers off the road for the better part of a year and a half, accident fatality rates have shockingly gone up. According to the National Safety Council:
- There was an 8% accident increase from 2019-2020
- There was a 24% accident fatality increase from 2019-2020
- There was the highest vehicle death rate jump in 96 years from 2019-2020
Although there have been fewer drivers on the road, the roads have still gotten a little deadlier. And among the most fatal, most catastrophic motor vehicle accidents to be involved in is any sort involving commercial flatbed trucks.
Due to the sheer weight disparity between vehicles and the immense weight of any cargo it may be carrying, commercial truck accidents have so much more potential to yield tremendous destruction and devastation. Whether you’re a trucker or any driver who wants to prepare for the worst, understand the most common causes of truck accidents and what you should do in the wake of one.
Most Common Causes Of Truck Accidents
A wide variety of factors commonly contribute to trucking accidents:
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Intoxicated driving
- Road weather
- Poor judgment
- Mechanical failure
As a commercial truck driver, most of these factors are within your control, barring any environmental issues, and it’s your responsibility to mitigate their risk. Make sure you’re diligent about safety protocols, make sure your mechanics are diligent about safety protocols, minimize as many distractions as possible while driving, and do everything within your power to brace yourself for harsh roads.
As far as what regular drivers should concern themselves with, most of the same common-sense safety standards apply. Don’t drive unprepared, don’t drive distracted, don’t drive with excess drugs or alcohol in your system, and don’t drive disrespecting others’ right of way. The last thing you want to do is unintentionally yield yourself into an accident.
What To Do After A Truck Accident
If you were unable to avoid a truck collision, then there are a few steps you should take to mitigate the damage as much as possible and recover as much of your losses as possible through a personal injury claim.
For starters, assuming you aren’t too incapacitated to do so, the first thing you should do is get to safety. If possible, pull yourself and/or your vehicle to the side of the road to minimize harm to yourself and other motorists.
Furthermore, you should then dial 9-1-1 to send the appropriate authorities to the scene as soon as possible, assuming you are physically capable of doing so. Following that, you should then collect as much information as you can, including:
- Contact info from all parties involved
- Contact info from secondhand witnesses if possible
- Insurance information
- License plates and VINs
- Copy of police report
- Video and photographic recordings of the accident scene
Following that, seek appropriate medical attention ASAP, contact your insurer ASAP, and if it has to come to it, contact an experienced El Monte truck accident attorney ASAP. You won’t want to let a neglectful, destructive accident go unaccounted for.