Most people are eager to hear how to reduce the risk of a truck accident. No one wants to tangle with a 20,000- pound truck carrying 40,000 pounds of cargo. Yet some people drive without regard for trucks and their drivers or for anyone’s safety. A surprising number of people believe they are at the mercy of truck drivers as if their driving behavior has no role in preventing an accident. Despite knowing how serious injuries sustained in truck-involved accidents can be, many drivers take no account of the trucks sharing the roads with them.
There are some things that every driver can do to reduce the risk of a truck accident that involves them. Knowing how to drive near a truck often saves drivers and their children. Remembering to follow these rules is another step that saves people from serious truck accidents. Statistics show that most truck accidents occur because of the negligence of a driver. Here are 10 things you can do when driving near a large truck to reduce the risk of a truck accident.
- Avoid drunk or drugged driving. This rule applies to every driver at all times. Ensure that nothing near you will happen that you cannot respond to quickly. Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol typically experience a slower reaction time. Further, their thought processes and observations are usually fuzzy.
- Don’t drive drowsy. Drowsiness significantly increases the time needed to react to other drivers or road conditions. Trucks, due to their size and weight, cannot make a major change in speed or direction quickly.
- Don’t drive distracted. The presence of tractor-trailer trucks on the road requires of every driver a clear and sharp focus on the road.
- Don’t follow too close. Trucks have blind spots behind the trailers. If you are too close to a truck when it brakes suddenly, you are likely to find your vehicle crashing into or under the back of the truck.
- Exercise caution and care when passing a truck. Signal your intention to pass providing ample opportunity for the truck driver to respond. Also, be aware of blind spots for you and for the trucker.
- Never cut off a truck. Keep in mind always that trucks need more time to stop or avoid a vehicle. If you cut off a truck and the driver cannot slow it in time, you might see it trying to fit into your trunk.
- Allow extra space for wide turns of trucks. Crowding a truck when the driver is making a right turn can be dangerous for you, the truck driver, and others nearby.
- Be patient and careful at all times. Keep in mind that due to your proximity to a truck you might not be able to see hazards in front of it or beside it. When you are rushing, it is easy to lose patience and make rash decisions. It is far better to reach your destination a few minutes late than not to reach your destination at all.
- Do not stay in a truck’s blind spot any longer than necessary. You may find it necessary to enter a blind spot for one reason or another. The longer you stay there, the less visible you are. Try to position yourself beside or behind a truck so that you are always visible.
- As always, use your seat belt and have children in safe child safety seats. If you should be in an accident with a truck, seat belts and safety seats might keep you alive.
Most truck drivers are well trained, safety-focused, and careful drivers. The negligence that causes a crash might be the truck driver’s or it might be yours.
If you or a loved one is injured in an accident involving a truck, you may be entitled to seek financial compensation for your hurts and harms. Truck accident cases can be complicated and difficult. It is typically in your best interest to hire a truck accident attorney with experience and passion to represent you. Bettina Altizer has been helping people injured in truck accidents for more than 30 years. She and her team at Altizer Law, P.C., understand that when you have sustained a serious injury in a truck accident, legal action is about the money.