Truck accidents lead to thousands of deaths on American roads every year. The sheer size of these vehicles, especially commercial trucks, makes them extra dangerous. However, if you drive safely, you can increase overall road safety and do your part in preventing devastating truck accidents.
There are nine life-saving ways you can help to prevent truck accidents, in particular:
Pay Attention to Blind Spots
The bigger a truck is, the more intense its blind spot becomes. You should stay far out of all truck blind spots to ensure you can both stay safe, and prevent truck-involved accidents on your roadway. If you cannot see the truck driver’s face when you look into their rearview mirrors, you should assume that you’re in their blind spot. Truck accident lawyers do their part to ensure victims are compensated if they’re involved in a truck-involved accident through no fault of their own.
Always Pass Trucks Quickly
Passing trucks and other large cars quickly can prevent accidents. If you take a long time to overtake them, they are more likely to not understand your intentions. Additionally, you should never linger directly next to a truck (especially when you’re on a crowded highway. The more carefully you follow this safety tip, the more truck-proof your driving skills will become.
Beyond just passing quickly, you need to always drive predictably. Doing so will keep you out of all types of accidents, and not just those involving big trucks and other vehicles that are larger than your own. For the sake of truck accident prevention, however, driving predictably allows truckers to focus on their driving, rather than what your next erratic driving maneuver might be.
Give Plenty of Space to Trucks
While it may seem like an obvious piece of advice, this is one of the most important safety tips on this list. If you ride too closely to the back of a truck or allow them to come up too close to your rear end, the chances of winding up in a disastrous wreck skyrocket. You’ll need to give them at least twice the amount of distance you would give to smaller vehicles if you want to ensure your safety, and avoid legally tense situations.
Avoid Distractions While Driving
No matter what type of vehicle you’re driving, you need to drive with as few distractions as humanly possible. If it’s impossible for you to get on the road without being distracted, for any reason, you should wait until you’ve entered into a more focused state of mind. Distracted truck drivers can prove especially dangerous to other drivers, so report any erratic truck driving that you spot.
Pay Attention to the Weather
Inclement weather remains one of the most dangerous road hazards out there. When cars lose control due to a lack of vision, high winds, or slick roads, everyone is in danger. Due to the sheer size of trucks, however, they pose the largest risk (both to themselves and other drivers). If the weather in your area is severe, you should avoid getting behind the wheel at all costs.
Watch Out for Road Hazards
Weather and distracted drivers are not the only road hazards drivers must worry about. Fallen trees, potholes, fallen cargo, and other hazards are commonplace. If you’re being vigilant while driving, you can avoid these hazards with ease in most cases. However, truck drivers must be given extra room and time to deal with road hazards.
Follow the Speed Limit
Although this seems like another common sense point, too many drivers consistently break the speed limit. Truck drivers are fined extra if they exceed the speed limit, due to how much more of a danger their large vehicles pose to other drivers. By following the speed limit closely, you also ensure you’ll have enough reaction time to avoid potential preventable accidents.
Watch Out for Erratic Drivers
Erratic drivers make the road dangerous for everyone. When you’re both unpredictably driving and all over the road, you give the impression that you could harm other drivers at any time. If you drive in this manner, you’re much more likely to be pulled over as well. For everyone’s sake, drive as smoothly as humanly possible.
Stay Alert if You Need to Pull Over
Pulling over is sometimes a necessity. If you fail to stay alert when you’re pulling over, however, you may cause traffic issues for trucks and other vehicles. Once you’re parked on the side of the road, you need to stay far away from the roadway. If a truck passes you fast enough, the truck could end up sucking you underneath the vehicle.