Tractor-trailers are an unavoidable part of driving, not just in Charleston, but everywhere in the United States. Trucks are a key part of the nation’s economy, thanks to their ability to move raw materials and finished products to even the smallest communities. However, accident rates have been trending in the wrong direction for years now. Aggressive driving is a contributing factor, but it doesn’t have to be—there are ways to prevent these accidents.
What should you do if you’ve been hurt in a truck driving accident? Your top priority should be finding a Charleston truck accident lawyer. Call Bailey Javins & Carter at 800-497-0234 to set up a consultation right away.
What Are Aggressive Driving Behaviors?
Aggressive driving behaviors take on many different forms, often starting off relatively minor and escalating as a driver becomes more aggravated. Speeding can be a type of aggressive driving if it’s done in a way that makes other drivers feel unsafe or rushed. Other common forms of aggressive driving include:
- Swerving in and out of lanes: This puts other drivers on the defensive and forces them to be ready for your unpredictable behavior. Furthermore, these sudden lane changes increase your likelihood of being in a crash every single time you change lanes.
- Tailgating: Tailgating is aggressive because it essentially puts pressure on the vehicle in front of you to drive faster—even if they are already at the speed limit or driving as fast as it can for weather conditions. When a driver is focused on the vehicle behind them, it’s harder for them to concentrate on the road ahead of them.
- Ignoring signs: Red lights, stop signs, and other signals are meant to make the road safer. A driver who routinely ignores these signs for their own convenience is an aggressive driver.
- Cutting off other drivers: Not only does this make accidents more likely, but it can also make other drivers react angrily. Cutting another vehicle off gives them little to no time to react.
- Engaging in road rage: Road rage includes flipping off other drivers, brake checking them, yelling out your window at them, confronting them, or following them to their destination.
How Aggressive Driving Can Cause Truck Accidents
Aggressive driving makes the road less safe for everyone, but it’s particularly dangerous when trucks are on the road. It should be noted that truck drivers are often on the receiving end of aggressive driving behavior; the vast majority of truck drivers understand and follow safe driving rules. But when they are forced to react to aggressive driving, accidents may follow.
Trucks have much longer stopping distances than smaller vehicles. A driver that speeds around them, cuts them off, or otherwise engages in reckless behavior could end up crushed. On top of that, truck drivers have much less visibility than other drivers. Trucks are known for their massive blind spots, and aggressive driving makes it that much more likely that a blind spot accident will occur.
Remember, tractor-trailers carry tons of cargo at any given time. If a driver has to slam the brakes, swerve to avoid an unpredictable driver, or otherwise take evasive action, they risk their load becoming unbalanced. This can lead to a rollover or a cargo spill, both of which can cause massive accidents that lead to millions of dollars in losses and damages.
Preventing Road Rage Collisions
There are several ways that experts suggest we can reduce aggressive driving accidents. First, education is key—aggressive drivers rarely think about the effects of their actions on much larger vehicles. Just because a smaller vehicle would be able to stop in time does not mean that a truck could. Legislators have pushed for stiffer penalties for reckless and aggressive driving behaviors, as well as increased enforcement by police officers.
Technological advancements will be an important part of accident prevention going forward. Technology that alerts drivers to others entering their lane or getting too close to them may allow them to take evasive action more quickly.
Start Your Claim Today—Call Bailey Javins & Carter
If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s aggressive driving, find out if you’re entitled to compensation. Call us at 800-497-0234 or send us a message online to schedule a consultation with our Charleston car accident lawyers right away.