Four Tips to Avoid Trucking Accidents
May 13th, 2016
Legal Representation for Victims of Trucking Accidents across RI & MA
According to some transportation experts, as much as 70 percent of all freight transported in the United States each year is delivered by truck. While railroads used to be king, now 18-wheelers dominate in delivering most forms of freight, particularly freight used by consumers. Some 80 percent of all communities in the U.S. rely exclusively on trucks to deliver all of their fuel, medicine, and consumer goods.
As the number of semi-trucks has increased in recent decades, the size of cars on American roads has decreased. Semi-trucks generally weigh 20 to 30 times as much as a passenger car. When the two collide, the result is all too predictable. Most deaths in large truck crashes are passenger vehicle occupants, not truck drivers. Are there steps that can be taken by passenger car drivers to avoid truck accidents? Here are four tips:
Tip One: Be Predictable
If the passenger car driver could do one thing to avoid many accidents, it would be to be predictable. When driving near a semi, try to maintain a relatively constant speed. Try to avoid sudden movements. Signal lane shifts. Because of a truck’s size, it is much more difficult for the trucker to perform quick maneuvers than for the auto driver. Help the trucker avoid the need to brake suddenly or otherwise respond in a defensive fashion.
Tip Two: Don’t Follow Too Closely
One rule of physics is so true that it often is printed on the back of the trucker’s semi-trailer: “If you can’t see the truck’s mirrors, the driver can’t see you.” In spite of this, too many drivers allow themselves to drive too closely. They can’t see around the truck. They cannot respond to quick braking activity on the part of the trucker. In urban areas, they often can’t see stoplights in time to react adequately. Give the truck some room!
Tip Three: Avoid the Truck’s Blind Spots
Why does the 18-wheeler have such huge mirrors? One reason is that a large truck has much larger blind spots than those associated with much smaller vehicles. Trucks have to make wide turns, particularly in urban areas. If a trucker is on your left and you are in his (or her) blind spot, you can easily be involved in a serious accident if the trucker turns right. Be cautious, and stay visible. Near an intersection, never pass a truck on the truck’s right.
Tip Four: Be Mindful of Weather Conditions
On dry pavement and at reasonable speeds, trucks take much longer than cars to stop. Stopping distances multiply with less-than-optimal weather conditions. Standing water on a highway can be particularly problematic. When an 18-wheeler drives through a large puddle at 50 mph, the resulting “rooster tail” of dirt and water can vastly overpower windshield wipers, even if they are brand new.
Have You Been in a Truck Accident?
Have you or a loved one been injured in a crash with a truck? If so, you deserve skillful, energetic, and experienced attorneys to help you prepare your case. The injury lawyers at Bottaro Law Firm have the resources to investigate the accident and fight to protect your legal rights. We will pursue your case at no cost until we win. Remember that delay can harm your case. Our experienced legal team is available 24/7 for a free consultation. Give us a call at 866-529-9700, or complete our convenient online contact form.