As the driver of a passenger vehicle, don’t be surprised if you find yourself within feet (or inches) of a commercial truck. While sharing the road with these vehicles shouldn’t be overly difficult, this isn’t always the case.

Knowing why truck accidents happen can go a long way in helping you prevent a collision. Here are five of the top causes of truck accidents:

  • Inadequate training. Trucking companies are expected to train drivers on everything from safety to loading to driving techniques.
  • Reckless driving. This comes in many forms, with excessive speeding and failure to use turn signals among the most common.
  • Distracted driving. Truckers are often on the road for many hours at a time, so it’s easy for them to become distracted. For example, eating, drinking or talking on a phone will take a person’s attention away from the road.
  • Drowsy driving. There are laws in place to ensure that truckers get enough rest when driving long distances. However, even with a good night’s rest, drowsy driving is still a concern.
  • Unrealistic schedules. When a trucking company sets an unrealistic schedule for its drivers, truckers are more likely to drive faster than the speed limit and/or take fewer breaks.

If you’re involved in a car-truck accident, don’t wait to call 911. The sooner paramedics arrive, the sooner you can receive treatment for your injuries.

As you recover, focus on the steps you can take to protect your legal rights. Once you file an insurance claim, you’ll have a better idea of what you can do to receive compensation for your injuries, medical bills and other losses.