Aggressive driving can be deadly. Everyone has seen a driver speeding down the highway or through a neighborhood street without any regard for anyone else’s safety. When drivers like this get into a car accident, it can cause serious personal injury and catastrophic property damage.
But even worse is when a truck driver acts in the same manner. Trucks are massive vehicles, weighing many times more than a regular vehicle. When smaller cars are impacted by a massive truck, the results are often deadly. Even if someone survives a truck accident, they may be left with a lifetime of medical treatment to help them go about their daily lives. When a person is injured by an aggressive truck driver, they may be able to get compensation for their injuries.
Causes of Aggressive Truck Driving
The trucking industry is heavily regulated. Truck drivers are not allowed to drive more than a certain number of hours in a given day. They must also rest between shifts, as drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving. These requirements can help keep not only the truck drivers safe while on the road but also people in other cars.
However, the trucking industry is also cutthroat. Truck drivers often disobey these federal laws and modify their records to make it look like they drove less than what they really did.
Truck drivers also have extremely tight schedules and may need to make deliveries in different parts of the country with very little time in between. This could result in them driving faster than the posted speed limit or faster than they should in such a large vehicle.
Because of the tight deadlines truck drivers often need to meet, they may end up driving aggressively in multiple ways. These include:
- Excessive speeding
- Multiple and fast lane changes
- Running stop signs and stop lights
- Failing to yield right of way
- Aggressive breaking
Each of these types of aggressive driving can be deadly in a regular vehicle. But in a tractor-trailer, the potential consequences are magnified because of the increased size and weight of commercial trucks. When these trucks slam into a regular car, depending on the angle and speed of impact, the regular car could be destroyed, leaving the people inside that car severely injured.
One of the most dangerous acts a truck driver can do is speeding. Because of the size and weight of an 18-wheel truck, it can take a long time for that truck to slow down. When a truck driver speeds, they may hit the rear end of a car in front of them if the truck cannot slow down in time. If they slam on the brakes, that could cause the trailer to spin out from behind them and jackknife, causing even more damage and injuries to nearby drivers and passengers.
Stay Away from Aggressive Truck Drivers
Being around an aggressive truck driver is extremely dangerous. Many people want to keep other drivers from being aggressive, but that is not their job. It is best to simply let the aggressive driver go by so they can be on their way and not present any danger to others.
Some drivers will just hang out in the passing lane, aggravating a truck driver who is trying to get by them. Again, these types of drivers are trying to teach the truck driver a lesson, but all that will do is aggravate the truck driver more, causing them to tailgate even closer, increasing the risk of an accident and serious injuries.
It is important to note that provoking an aggressive truck driver in this way can lead to road rage. Although road rage and aggressive driving are different, they are related. Road rage typically goes beyond just aggressive driving when the aggressive driver believes another driver is targeting them personally. Road rage can involve aggressive gestures using hand signals, but it can also involve physical acts, especially if a driver stops and gets out of their vehicle.
It is also smart to avoid driving next to a truck. When a truck passes, make sure they can see the vehicle beside them, which can be difficult because trucks have extremely large blind spots.
Everyone will encounter an aggressive driver at some point. It is not always possible to avoid aggressive drivers. But doing what is possible to avoid being around an aggressive driver, especially an aggressive truck driver, can help to keep everyone safe while on the road.
In all situations, it is best to simply let aggressive drivers by and report them when it is safe to do so. Drivers can report aggressive truck drivers by calling police and by calling the phone number that is usually seen on the back of the trailer.
Getting Compensation for Injuries
After a person gets into an accident caused by an aggressive truck driver, they may be able to seek compensation for their injuries and property damage. Because their injuries are likely severe and will require lots of medical attention, they will probably need to collect large sums of money or risk paying out of pocket for injuries they did not cause.
When a truck accident injury victim partners with a lawyer, they may be able to get compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost income
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Present and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
What many truck accident injury victims fail to realize is just how expensive their recovery will be. When a person gets injured in a truck accident, their life may never be the same. They may have difficulties doing their daily routines and may even have to take long periods of time off work, if they can ever return at all. This is part of what makes truck accident injuries so tragically expensive. When an injured person cannot go to work, they may quickly spiral into financial hardship.
However, it is important that truck accident injury victims remember that their injuries are not their fault. To help them, a lawyer will try to prove that the truck driver caused their accident and is liable for their injuries. The last thing a truck accident injury victim needs is worry about a legal claim and how they will cover their medical expenses and their regular household bills. With the right legal team on their side, they do not have to choose.
When the lawyer takes on the legal burden, the truck accident injury victim can focus all their effort and energy into their recovery, their health, and their wellbeing. A truck accident injury victim will face many hurdles right after their accident, including:
- Extended hospital stays
- Long periods of time out of work
- Multiple doctor visits
- In facility rehabilitation
- In-home care
Besides the physical hurdles, many truck accident injury victims also face mental challenges. After a traumatic truck accident, people can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although most people think of PTSD as something that soldiers face when they return from a battlefield, truck accidents cause similar psychological reactions in people who have experienced a traumatic event. It is extremely important that victims do not ignore potentially devastating mental injuries along with their physical injuries.
Truck accidents can have deadly consequences. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries because of a truck driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and suffering. The Monmouth County truck accident lawyers at Ellis Law can help you protect your rights and collect the compensation you need to get better. Call us at 732-308-0200 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Freehold, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Neptune, Marlboro Township, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn and New York, New York.