One of the most dangerous things that a driver can do when operating a vehicle is to cut in front of a tractor trailer while it is moving in traffic. This maneuver is the cause of many 18 wheeler accidents when a truck cannot stop in time to avoid a collision. Although fault in these types of 18 wheeler wrecks may seem to lay with the driver who cut in front of the big rig, truck accident attorneys find that truck drivers can also be at fault.
What Happens When Cars Cut Off 18 Wheelers?
Heavy commercial trucks are hard to drive and even harder to stop. A fully loaded tractor trailer stops much slower than other vehicles on the road and requires a greater stopping distance. When another vehicle cuts closely in front of a big rig, the truck driver is very limited in available options to prevent a crash. Many times, even if an attempt is made, these heavy, fast-moving trucks cannot be stopped in time to prevent 18 wheeler wrecks.
Cut Off Accidents - Not Black and White
While an 18 wheeler accident that occurs after a tractor trailer is cut off by another vehicle may seem to be very black and white as to who was at fault, this is not always the case. Truck accident attorneys sometimes determine that the driver of the truck could have avoided the crash but was negligent in some way.
While it is true that many of these 18 wheeler wrecks are the fault of the vehicle that cut the truck off, truck drivers who do not at least attempt to avoid a crash could be found negligent as well. In these incidents, fault can be a very gray area that must be determined by carefully looking at all details leading up to the crash.
Which Driver Is At Fault?
Truck accidents that occur after a vehicle cuts off a tractor trailer must be examined to determine actual fault. If a driver cuts in front of a heavy truck, that driver is definitely at fault for that action. The truck driver can also be in the wrong if they did not stop in time to prevent an 18 wheeler accident. The main factor in determining if a truck driver is at fault is how they react to being cut off and what happens just prior to the collision.
Normally, a truck driver trying to avoid a possible collision reacts with heavy, sudden use of their brakes and attempts to steer out of the way of the vehicle in their path. Big rig drivers who attempt to stop or steer away but cannot do so are not usually found to be at fault. Truck accident attorneys point out that when no attempt was made to stop or steer away, the truck driver could be negligent.
Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence when a truck driver is fatigued or distracted, preventing them from reacting quickly enough to at least attempt to prevent a crash.
When determining fault in 18 wheeler wrecks that result when a big rig is cut off by another vehicle, truck accident attorneys must consider both sides of the coin. Drivers who cut off other vehicles, especially big rigs, are often found to be at fault for creating a dangerous situation leading to a crash. Yet big rig drivers may also be at fault for 18 wheeler accidents if they are distracted or fatigued and fail to use normal crash avoidance reactions. Fortunately, this information can be easily obtained from the onboard vehicle data recorders in trucks that are on the road today!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 410-5810