What goes through your mind when you find yourself driving in close proximity to a commercial truck? Do you realize the importance of keeping your distance as to avoid being part of an accident? Do you often overlook just how dangerous the roadways can be?

The more knowledge you have about the causes of truck accidents, the easier it is to remain safe in the future. There is no guaranteed way to avoid being part of a crash, but there are steps you can take to put yourself in safer position.

Here are some of the more common causes of truck accidents:

  • Drowsy driving, which typically occurs when a trucker does not get enough sleep while on the road
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Distracted driving, which can entail things such as eating, talking on a cell phone or texting
  • All forms of reckless driving, including but not limited to, speeding, failure to use turn signals and weaving from lane to lane
  • Unrealistic schedules set by the trucking company
  • Improper loading and maintenance

When a truck driver makes one or more of these mistakes, there is a greater chance that he or she will cause an accident.

There are also things you can do as a driver to prevent trouble on the road. For example, you should never drive in a trucker’s blind spots. It’s also a must that you follow the rules of the road.

Even with the best intentions you could be part of a truck accident. Here are the immediate steps to take if you find yourself in this situation:

  • Move your car to safety, if possible
  • Call 911
  • Don’t do anything until police and an ambulance arrive
  • Receive medical treatment at the scene of the accident
  • Ask for transportation to a local hospital for additional treatment
  • Follow the advice of your medical team
  • Learn more about the cause of the accident
  • Contact your insurance company

Once you do these things, you’ll also want to learn more about your legal rights. You’ll never know what to do next until you understand your rights and the steps you can take to protect them.