Semi-tractor trailers are a ubiquitous sight on Kentucky roads and highways, and most passenger vehicle drivers understand that commercial vehicles weighing as much as 80,000 pounds should be approached with caution. Accidents involving buses and large trucks claim thousands of lives each year in the United States, and 60 percent of these fatal crashes involve an impact with the front of trucks. Sometimes these front-end collisions are caused by distracted or fatigued truck drivers braking too late or not at all, but they are most often the result of dangerous passing maneuvers.
It can take twice as long for a fully laden tractor-trailer to come to a safe stop, and emergency braking can cause large trucks to jackknife dangerously. Passenger vehicle drivers should bear this in mind when passing slow-moving trucks, and they should also remember that commercial vehicles have much larger blind spots than cars, pickup trucks or SUVs. Tailgating is a dangerous practice at any time, but the chances of suffering a serious injury increase exponentially when the vehicle being tailgated is a semi-tractor trailer.
About 10 percent of the motor vehicle crashes that took place in Kentucky in 2014 involved commercial vehicles, and the majority of these truck accidents were caused by the drivers of the passenger vehicles involved. In addition to dangerous passing maneuvers and tailgating, passenger vehicle drivers frequently cause accidents by weaving, misjudging clearances and failing to yield the right of way.
While reckless motorists may be responsible for a large number of truck accidents, many more are caused by negligent truck drivers or owners. Experienced personal injury attorneys may pursue civil remedies on behalf of accident victims against truck drivers when crashes are caused by intoxication or drowsiness, and they may initiate litigation against the owners of commercial vehicles when poor maintenance, lax oversight or inadequate training played a role.