There were over 475,000 large truck accidents in 2016, which represented a 45% increase over the numbers from just three years prior! Tens of thousands of deaths have resulted from these crashes, and hundreds of thousands of injuries. Safe driving practices need to improve, and truckers, drivers, and our communities need to work together to make better choices on the road. Fortunately, there are some proven methods of reducing truck crash rates. Read on to find out more about what drivers of all types of vehicles can do to prevent truck accidents and what to do if things still go wrong and there is a collision.
After a serious truck accident, an engaging and expert attorney is an enormous help. You may be dealing with serious injuries, lost time at work, car repairs or replacement, or even the wrongful death of a loved one. While you take care of yourself and your family, leave the work of dealing with insurance claims and fighting the trucking companies to specialized truck accident attorneys. Ryan “The Lion” Thompson has won over $1.8 billion in settlements for his clients, and his team of experts is standing by 24/7/365 to take your call and get to work for you.
What Trucks Should do to be Safer
When truckers are driving safely, practicing defensive driving, and acting courteously to cars sharing the road, the large size and power of these vehicles can have a big impact on the safety of our roadways. The American Trucking Association sets a goal of “developing and advocating innovative, research-based policies that promote highway safety, security, environmental sustainability, and profitability.”
With this goal of promoting highway safety in mind, there are a number of practices that drivers should incorporate into their habits while traversing our nation’s roads. There are also a variety of behaviors and choices to avoid. With this good judgment on the part of our nation’s truck drivers, we will finally stand a chance of reaching our goals to reduce and eliminate road traffic accidents involving semi-trucks.
|Do drive courteously, communicating with other drivers||Don’t tailgate cars|
|Do properly balance cargo||Don’t overload cargo in the trailer|
|Do drive cautiously, at legal speed or less||Don’t speed|
|Do take breaks to maintain focus and combat exhaustion||Don’t drive while tired|
|Do focus on the road||Don’t text and drive or distracted drive|
What you Can Do to Drive Safely Around Trucks
72% of car and large truck accidents are actually caused by cars, so there are definitely some preventative measures that drivers can be taking every day to help lower truck crash statistics. Many safety habits that we would encourage truck drivers to practice are also applicable to drivers of cars. However, there are also some habits uniquely important for smaller vehicle operators to employ when driving around large trucks and 18 wheelers.
Don’t Tailgate – Just like you don’t want an 18 wheeler bearing down on you, don’t do this to large trucks either. On top of contributing to the danger of crashing with sudden stops, you are also in one of the truck’s blind spots this way. Trucks can’t drive safely near you if they don’t know you are there.
Avoid Blind Spots – In addition to the rear blind spot, there are three additional sizeable blind spots as illustrated here. 20 ft in front of the truck, 30ft behind, a large portion of the lane to the driver’s side, and an even larger portion of the two lanes to the passenger side of the truck are not in view for the truck driver. Do not linger in these areas – pass quickly and always remember turn signals when you are in visible zones.
Don’t Stop Suddenly – At 60mph, it takes a length of over 3 football fields for a loaded tractor trailer to come to a full stop. If you cut in front of a loaded semi and slam on the brakes, the truck simply cannot stop as fast as you.
Avoid Tire Blow Outs – Trucks are particularly susceptible to tire blow outs, because these accidents are often caused by overloading and underinflation. Heavy trucks traveling long haul through different climates are more exposed to these tire-stress factors. May through October is the time period where most blow outs occur but be watchful year-round for flying debris.
Give the Right of Way – Rather than speeding to make it in front of a truck every time you merge, leave room for trucks. Smaller cars are much more agile to smoothly join a lane or change position by passing after a difficult merging zone.
Watch Out for Drifting – Truck drivers who spend long stretches on open road and have hefty mileage and hours requirements to meet in their delivery schedules. Fatigue is a danger of the trade so be watchful of drifting trucks that may signify its driver is drifting off to sleep.
Leave Room for Wide Turns – The long trailers on trucks need more space to turn, so take care when you notice truck’s blinkers come on, do not pass a truck when its turn lights are flashing, and stop behind the lines at intersections. These guidelines are to help provide enough space for turns around the intersection corners, and large trucks may need even more room than they designate.
Pass Quickly – When you do pass a trailer, move along as quickly as is safe. Don’t linger next to the sidewall of the trailer where you are in the truck’s blind spot. A good rule of thumb is to merge in front of a truck when you can see its cab in your rearview mirror.
What to do After an 18 Wheeler Accident
Sadly, even with the best-laid plans and most careful driving, 18 wheeler accidents do still occur. Aside from freak accidents, people do drive negligently despite knowing better. The fact remains that truck accidents do occur, and trucks present a special danger for accident and injury.
After any accident it is important to get a reliable record of the event, preferably with police documentation. This is especially true with trucking accidents where company or corporations may be involved. Truckers and their employing companies are practiced in defending themselves after an accident, so you need to take care of yourself and be cautious to defend your own interests and concerns as well.
Here are the steps you should take after a truck accident:
Call the Authorities – be sure to get a detailed police report and take photos of the scene while you wait for the police to arrive.
Get Checked Out – If an ambulance arrives at the scene, cooperate with Emergency Medical Service (EMS) professionals, and only leave the scene if they clear you to do so. The size and weight of these vehicles can frequently cause serious impact injuries, and the magnitude of the crash may leave you in shock or with an adrenaline rush that masks the symptoms of an injury. For these reasons, delayed onset injuries are common with truck accidents.
Seek Medical Care – If an ambulance does not come to the scene, we strongly recommend that you seek medical advice in another way. Whether it is a trip to the emergency room straight from the accident, or a visit to your doctor the next day, the best thing you can do for your body after an impact injury is get checked by a medical professional.
Call an 18 Wheeler Accident Attorney – for advice on your claim and case options and guidance on your continued treatment plan, consult an expert accident attorney like Thompson Law. Take the guesswork out of the insurance process after an accident, and take comfort knowing that Ryan Thompson and his outstanding team have your back.
DO NOT – make any statements after the accident to insurance adjusters, the truck driver and his or her representatives, or any other parties connected to the incident. You can call your lawyer from the accident site for advice if you are being questioned and would like legal help.
Call 18 Wheeler Accident Attorney Thompson Law Today
While there may be some pretty cool technologies on the horizon to help reduce the rate of truck accidents, sticking with tried-and-true defensive driving techniques is a great way that you can contribute to the safety of our roads right now. If things go wrong and you are involved in an accident, know you are not alone. Unfortunately, people suffer in truck collisions every day, in fact there are over 1300 truck accidents daily in the United States alone. Experienced accident attorneys like Ryan Thompson of Thompson Law have extensive experience squaring off against the at-fault trucking companies and the big insurance corporations when these wrecks occur. If you have been hit by an 18– wheeler and hurt in the accident, call Thompson Law today. You deserve help and will benefit from expert legal guidance through the claims and case process. Ryan “The Lion” Thompson will fight for every dollar of your deserved compensation so you can focus on your recovery.