Truckers in Oregon routinely crisscross the state, making deliveries and hauling items. Motorists should expect to encounter them regularly on the road. Unfortunately, one wrong move on the truckers part can cause them to lose control of their rig, resulting in truck accidents. Here’s why these types of accidents happen and ways you can protect yourself.
What Causes a Truck Driver to Lose Control of Their Rig?
A recent truck accident in Kent, OR resulted in fatal injuries for a Terrebonne man. According to a May 2020 KTVZ News report, the crash happened around 7:10 p.m. on a Friday night, near milepost 48 on Highway 97 in Sherman County. The truck driver was headed north when he suddenly swerved into the opposing lane, striking a driver going southbound. While the trucker suffered only minor injuries, the motorist died at the scene. Police are continuing to investigate the crash and what may have caused the trucker to lose control in the first place.
Loss of control is a frequent factor in truck accidents. Common reasons why truckers lose control of their rigs include:
- Speeding and going too fast for conditions: Going too fast is dangerous for any driver, but particularly so for truckers. High rates of speed impact the ability to brake in response to sudden changes in traffic, weather, or road conditions and can cause the driver to skid. It also makes it more likely to lose control when going around curves.
- Stopping suddenly. Most big rigs are massive machines and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. It requires time and effort to bring them to a stop. Slamming on the brakes increases the risk of skidding and jackknife accidents, where the trailer rides up at a 90-degree angle to the truck cab. Tailgating other motorists and being distracted are often to blame.
- Uneven loads: Proper loading practices and carefully distributing the weight of the cargo plays an important role in preventing truck accidents. Shifting weights during travel can easily result in the driver losing control and may even cause the rig to roll over.
Protecting Yourself on the Road
When sharing the road with big rig drivers, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself in the event they lose control and a truck accident happens. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recommends the following:
- Avoid driving directly in front, in back, or alongside a truck;
- Provide plenty of notice if one is behind you before making turns or stopping;
- Allow for additional space when passing and avoiding cutting them off in traffic;
- Pull over and let a trucker pass if they are following too close behind you.
Contact Us Today for Help
Truck accidents can leave other motorists suffering serious injuries. At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we help you get the compensation you are entitled to in a claim. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Oregon truck accident attorneys online to request a consultation today.