Large commercial vehicles are a familiar sight on the roads of Tennessee, and drivers would be wise to remain vigilant and exercise caution in their presence. Semi-tractor trailers are large and heavy, and catastrophic injuries often result when they are involved in an accident. Some of these accidents could be avoided if passenger vehicle drivers were more patient, but many others are caused by poorly maintained trucks or negligent truck drivers.

Many motorists fail to consider that semi-tractor trailer drivers are operating cumbersome vehicles with limited handling and performance characteristics, and they often do not appreciate the limited visibility provided by a truck’s mirrors. Many truck accidents happen because the semi driver does not see a passenger vehicle that is following too closely, and others are caused by passenger vehicle drivers who make unexpected maneuvers or misjudge a truck’s speed. Another cause of crashes involving trucks is the wind turbulence these vehicles create, which can buffet cars or SUVs unexpectedly as they attempt to pass.

While the majority of commercial vehicle drivers are highly proficient, they often operate under great pressure to complete their journeys as quickly as possible. Driver fatigue is a real problem for logistics companies, and a semi-tractor trailer with a drowsy driver at the wheel is an accident waiting to happen. Large trucks also contain highly sophisticated pneumatic systems, and inadequate maintenance could lead to catastrophic brake or steering failure without warning.

Those injured in accidents involving semi-tractor trailers may pursue civil remedies when negligence is a factor, and a personal injury attorney may file a lawsuit on their behalf against the truck driver, the trucking company or both. A truck driver may be considered to have acted negligently when an accident is caused by recklessness, fatigue or impairment, and a trucking company may be held responsible for accidents caused by lax maintenance practices or insufficient driver training.