Tractor trailer trucks only account for roughly 4% of vehicles on the road; however, these trucks are involved in over 4,500 vehicle deaths per year. Many of these truck accidents are due to error on the passenger car driver’s part, and it is these drivers who are typically the ones hurt or killed in the accident.
In fact, 97% percent of people killed in large truck accidents are in passenger vehicles.Drivers must be especially vigilant when operating a car in the vicinity of large trucks due to the extreme danger of a potentially fatal accident.
Examples of common mistakes passenger car drivers make when dealing with semi trucks include:
- Driving in the truck’s blind spot.
- Merging or changing lanes incorrectly, too quickly, or into a truck’s blind spot.
- Turning left at an intersection and misjudging an oncoming truck’s speed.
- Driving between two large trucks.
These examples represent mistakes that normally would not cause a car accident, or if they did would not likely result in a fatality. However, when an 18-wheeler is involved, the chance of a fatal accident occurring is significantly elevated.
Semi-truck accidents accounted for almost 25% of passenger vehicle occupant deaths last year, and so it is crucial to treat any large truck on the road with special care and ensure that you are practicing safe, defensive driving around them.
For more information about large truck accidents and truck fatality rates, read the article, Semi-Truck Accidents.