There’s nothing more nerve-racking as a driver than sharing the road with a commercial truck. Not only is your space limited, but you worry that the trucker could make a mistake that puts you at risk of an accident.

Understanding the most common causes of car-commercial truck accidents can help you adjust your driving style to enhance your safety. Here’s what you should keep in mind:

  • Improper loading: This takes on many forms, such as improper load distribution. Since you can’t see this, it’s impossible to realize that there’s a problem.
  • Improper training: A trucker must receive training and pass a variety of tests before taking to the road. However, some trucking companies don’t provide as much training as they should, which puts both the trucker and everyone else on the road at risk.
  • Drowsy driving: Commercial truckers are known for falling asleep while driving, as many neglect to take breaks as required by law. Even though these accidents often occur at night, they can happen at any time of the day.
  • Distracted driving: Truckers can fall prey to the same distractions as any other driver. This includes but is not limited to texting, adjusting vehicle controls, reading a map, eating and drinking.
  • Driving under the influence: It’s your hope that every trucker understands the risk of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescription medication. However, some don’t realize just how dangerous it is. For example, if a trucker takes medication that causes drowsiness, it greatly increases the risk of falling asleep at the wheel.

When driving in close proximity to commercial trucks, take steps to protect yourself. For example, if a trucker is driving aggressively or swerving all over the road, fall back to create distance between your vehicles.

Even with the best intentions of remaining safe, a trucker could cause an accident that results in serious injuries. Stay where you are, call 911 and administer first-aid as you wait for help to arrive.

Your injuries are likely to require immediate attention, so rely on paramedics to transport you to the hospital. As the dust clears, contact your insurance agent, review the circumstances of the accident and look into the steps you can take to protect your legal rights as the victim of the accident.