Trucking Accidents: How to Avoid Them
Accidents involving commercial trucks are especially dangerous and unfortunately happen with alarming regularity. When trucks that weigh up to 80,000 pounds collide with other vehicles on the road, the results are often devastating for the passenger vehicle occupants.
The experienced trucking accident lawyers at Langdon & Emison have worked with victims of truck accidents for over 30 years. We’ve seen it all when it comes to the life-altering repercussions a crash with a large semi can have. It’s crucial that drivers know how to avoid collisions with large commercial trucks.
Read our tips to avoid semi truck accidents, and you could prevent a serious injury or even a fatality.
Avoid Blind Spots
Commercial trucks are much larger than other vehicles and therefore have more blind spots. Stay out of the following blind spots when you’re driving near trucks. Otherwise, they may not see you:
- Two lanes wide on the truck’s passenger side
- The lane on the driver’s side going back roughly half of the trailer’s length
- 20 feet in front of the truck
- 30 feet in the rear of the truck
If you find yourself driving in a truck’s blind spot, do what you can to minimize how long you stay there. Although trucks are equipped with large mirrors, they don’t provide an adequate field of vision to safely monitor any possible vehicles in the vicinity of the truck.
Pass with Caution
Always drive cautiously when passing a commercial truck. Due to their size, trucks cannot always stop as quickly as needed to accommodate other vehicles attempting to pass them. Truck drivers need additional time to react and appropriately adjust their speed.
Never pass a truck while going up or downhill since their speed will not necessarily be consistent. You should also never merge back into the lane in front of the truck until you can see the truck driver clearly in your rearview mirror. If you can’t see them, they’re too close and you may accidentally cut them off.
You should always use proper signals when passing another vehicle, but it’s especially critical to do so when driving near large commercial trucks.
Maintain a Safe Distance
Keep a longer following distance behind a truck than you would with another passenger vehicle. Their size and weight require longer stopping distances. If you’re following too closely and they brake unexpectedly, you may end up rear-ending them.
Rear-ending a truck has far more dangerous consequences than rear-ending a passenger vehicle. Many drivers become victims of underride accidents, which happen when the top half of a vehicle slides under the truck.
Maintaining a safe distance from commercial trucks also keeps you safe from possible rollovers caused by strong winds or getting hit by debris from a tire blowout. Other ways you can give trucks the space they need include leaving plenty of space between your vehicle and theirs while they turn and avoid passing trucks while they turn right.
Manage and Limit Distractions
Distracted driving refers to any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road. Whether it’s talking on the phone, texting, eating, drinking, fiddling with the radio, or chatting with fellow passengers, distractions are a threat to your safety on the road.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, thousands of lives are claimed every year in accidents caused by distracted driving. When driving on interstates, highways, and other busy roads, it’s more important than ever to limit distractions in your vehicle. Taking your eyes off of the road for even just five seconds could have catastrophic results if you get into an accident with a semi-truck.
Lower Your Brights
Bright headlights have the potential to reflect off of a truck’s large side mirrors, effectively blinding the driver. Lower your high beams when approaching another vehicle, but especially around large commercial trucks. If a truck driver loses their sight for a few seconds, it can lead to serious injuries and fatal accidents.
Know What to Do If Things Go Wrong
You can follow all of the above tips to minimize your chances of an accident with a commercial truck. However, even if you’re driving as carefully as possible, you should still be prepared for the possibility of an accident – there’s no such thing as being able to completely avoid an accident.
Knowing what to do after a truck accident will help protect your rights in case you need to pursue compensation for your damages. Should you ever find yourself in the unfortunate aftermath of a truck accident, take the following steps:
- Call the police to report the accident.
- Seek immediate medical attention and follow the doctor’s directions.
- Document any evidence from the scene of the accident.
- Exchange contact information with the other driver and any witnesses.
- Refrain from taking full or partial responsibility for the accident.
- Speak to an experienced truck accident lawyer.
We hope that these tips to avoid truck accidents keep you and your loved ones safe. However, if you do find yourself facing injuries, medical bills, and other expenses from a truck accident, do not hesitate to call an experienced truck accident lawyer.
Langdon & Emison has over 30 years of experience in aggressively pursuing justice on behalf of truck accident victims.
To schedule your risk-free case evaluation, call us today at 800.397.4910.