Which Truck Maneuvers Commonly Cause Accidents?

June 15, 2021

Truck Maneuvers Accidents
Truck Maneuvers Accidents

Many people are injured in truck accidents each day across the United States. Due to a truck’s sheer size, weight, and mass, the chance of a serious injury from an accident is high for the passenger vehicle occupants.

While most truck drivers strive to be careful, it only takes one distraction, mistake, or another misjudgment for them to cause an accident. Most truck accidents are caused by human error, but there are many causes of these collisions. The following list contains some of the most common causes of truck accidents.


Going too fast makes it more difficult for drivers to control their vehicles. A speeding truck will be almost impossible to steer or brake properly, potentially causing an accident. Traffic patterns can change quickly, requiring quick braking or steering in many situations.

Additionally, a truck driver trying to make good time or an unrealistic deadline could potentially make a wrong decision about driving in hazardous road conditions. For example, snow, ice, wind, and rain can reduce visibility and make roads slick. Truck drivers traveling too fast for road conditions risk harming themselves and other motorists.

Improper Lane Changes

This is one of the primary causes of truck accidents. Trucks have huge blind spots on both sides of the vehicle, especially on the right side. When truckers try to change lanes, they may not see a car traveling in their blind spot. The result is almost always an accident if the driver is not cautious.


The failure of a truck to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead can cause major problems when traffic slows or stops suddenly. It takes a fair amount of time and distance for a truck to come to a complete stop.

Distracted Driving

This is a top reason for truck accidents. Distracted driving is anything that takes a truck motorist’s focus off of driving. Distractions are categorized in the following ways:

  • Visual: Eyes off the road.
  • Manual: Hands off the steering wheel.
  • Cognitive: Mind not focused on driving.

Common causes of distracted driving in a truck include:

Cellphones: Including answering, dialing, talking, sending/receiving texts, and following navigational or other apps. Every state has laws against cellphone use by both truck and car drivers.

Reaching for Items: Truck drivers spend many long hours on the road and may need to get something while driving, such as food and beverages. They should not do so until safely stopped or pulled over.

Eating and Drinking: Truck drivers will often eat meals while driving to make good time. Doing so takes their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel, creating a huge potential for an accident.

Car Controls: Truck drivers should always adjust controls before starting out. Trying to do so while driving is distracting and increases the chance of an accident.

Infotainment Systems: A truck may have screens for playing videos, games, or for getting truck and driving information. These screens can be distracting and should be used only when safely slowed or stopped.

Loud Devices: Many truck drivers still use a radio or other devices for communicating with other truckers or their employer. Excessive volume or chatter can be distracting to a driver.

Daydreaming: Truck drivers spend long hours on the road, staring at the endless highway. Getting lost in thought or an almost trance-like state can happen quickly, causing driver inattention to what is happening around them.

Occupants: Sometimes, a truck driver will bring their pet or a spouse or friend with them on the road. Getting into a deep conversation or argument with another passenger can cause distraction. Pets that are not restrained cause both distraction and danger.

Roadside Attractions: From interesting signs to emergency vehicles or accidents, a roadside attraction could take a motorist’s attention away from driving.

Personal Hygiene: Insurance companies report that truck accidents have been caused by drivers shaving, brushing their hair or teeth, or performing other personal hygiene actions.

Navigation Systems: Looking down at the navigation system frequently or programming it while driving can cause accidents. Position the device where it is easily viewed, and program it while stopped.

Road Rage

Some truck drivers may be tempted to respond aggressively when a car or another truck cuts them off, tailgates, or changes lanes improperly. No driver should ever try to exact revenge while behind the wheel.

Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue is a leading cause of truck accidents as well. Drivers often have unrealistic deadlines, or they may try to make up time from a traffic tie-up. They may skip breaks or not stop to sleep as required by federal and state regulations.

Impaired Driving

Truck drivers are not immune from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Even prescriptions and over-the-counter medications can cause impairment.

Road Conditions

Truck drivers can experience all manner of road conditions on a single long haul. Road construction, merges, yields, lane closures, potholes, and even debris in the road can come up quickly, requiring attentive and responsive driving.

Cargo Shifts

By law, a truck cannot carry cargo over a certain weight, and it must be appropriately loaded as well. Sometimes, cargo will shift or exceed the legal weight limits, making the truck jackknife or swerve and cause an accident.

Vehicle Defects

Trucks have many complicated parts and up to 18 or more tires. A defective part, especially a failed brake or frayed tire, can cause a severe accident. Defects can arise from delayed or missed inspections and failure to correct known problems or recalls.

What Should I Do After a Truck Accident in Virginia?

Virginia follows a pure contributory negligence legal system when it comes to vehicle accidents. That means a person bringing a lawsuit against a truck driver, trucking company, or parts/vehicle manufacturer needs to prove that they are 100 percent fault. If the plaintiff who is pursuing the lawsuit is found to be even one percent responsible for the accident, they cannot recover any compensation for damages.

Why Should I Contact a Lawyer?

Proving 100 percent fault takes the unique skills and knowledge of a truck accident lawyer. Anyone who is involved in a truck accident should immediately contact a lawyer who will do the following:

  • Collect all evidence available. Police reports, photos, videos, traffic camera images, witness statements, expert testimony, truck driver records and experience, truck owner inspection and maintenance reports, and anything else to help prove negligence.
  • Decide the appropriate negligent party. Truck accidents can end up being the fault of someone other than the driver, such as the truck owner, the trucking company, or a parts manufacturer. Deciding who should be sued is a primary function of a truck accident lawyer.
  • Build a strong case. A lawyer will collect evidence, gather testimony, review medical records related to the victim’s injuries and property damage, and perform other functions to build a solid case against the appropriate liable party.
  • Lay out the law. A lawyer knows federal laws and Virginia statutes related to trucking, driving, driver requirements, and safety. They can pinpoint which laws may have been broken and provide proof.
  • Calculate damages. Costs related to injuries and property damage a victim sustains in a truck accident must be carefully calculated to ensure fair and just compensation. An experienced lawyer will consider current and future costs when demanding a damage amount in a lawsuit. Expenses include medical care, rehabilitation, medical equipment, prescriptions, lost wages or reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, property damages, and other expenses.
  • Guide the victim through negotiations. Insurers will often offer a victim a lowball amount that could be tempting to take, especially when the victim faces medical bills or the inability to work. No one should accept an insurer’s offer without talking to a lawyer who is skilled at negotiating with insurance companies.
  • Take the case to court if needed. When a fair and just settlement cannot be reached with an insurance company, a lawyer will take the case to court. A knowledgeable lawyer can overcome the common defenses insurers use in truck accident cases while presenting strong evidence in favor of the victim.

Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyers Hold Negligent Truck Drivers Accountable for Reckless Actions

There are many causes of truck accidents, but most collisions are caused by human error. If you were injured in an accident that was caused by a truck driver, the Virginia Beach truck accident lawyers can help. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we have helped numerous truck accident victims. Call us at 757-352-2237 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we proudly serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shore, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.

301 Bendix Road, Suite 460
Virginia Beach VA 23452
Ph: 757-352-2237 | Fax: 757-352-2220