When it comes to on-the-road accidents, few are as dangerous or as damaging as commercial truck accidents. Due to the sheer weight and size of the vehicles involved, these incidents often lead to serious property damage, severe injuries, and even death for one or more parties involved. In fact, according to TruckAccidents.org, about 130,000 people are injured every year because of these accidents.
In addition to the extreme physical harm commercial truck accidents can inflict, they can also cause a significant amount of monetary damage. According to recent statistics, the average cost of just one of these accidents is nearly $60,000. Fortunately, like any wreck, commercial truck accidents are completely preventable. If you’re sharing the road with a semi-truck, 18-wheeler, or other large-sized vehicle, be sure to follow these 6 helpful tips, and you can successfully avoid a dangerous and debilitating commercial truck accident:
1. Avoid any blind spots. Large trucks have huge blind spots. For the most part, the drivers can’t see anything past the middle of their truck, and they definitely, absolutely cannot see what’s behind them. They don’t even have a rearview mirror! If you want to avoid a potential collision, always be sure to avoid these blind spots when driving near a truck. If you need to pass a large truck, make sure to signal early, give them plenty of time to see you, and move as quickly as possible until you’ve passed safely. Don’t dawdle or spend more time than necessary—you don’t want to risk the driver forgetting you’re there and changing lanes right into you.
2. Don’t pass on the right. In many states, passing a commercial truck on the right is illegal. Why? Because most trucks have a right-side blind spot that makes seeing a normal-sized car nearly impossible. This is especially dangerous during turns, when a nearby car can easily get trapped between the truck and a median or another vehicle. If you have to pass a large truck, always do so on the left side.
3. Be careful when turning. Turning is very hard for truck drivers, and the longer the truck is, the more difficult the turn will be. If you see a truck turning in your general vicinity, be sure to give it plenty of space. Most of the time, they will need a wide berth in order to execute the turn safely and avoid rolling over.
4. Don’t cut them off. Never, ever cut off a large truck. This is one of the most common ways commercial truck accidents happen. Because large trucks are so heavy, they take a lot longer than traditional vehicles to stop, and even just to slow down. When they get cut off, they typically can’t stop in time, and they’ll plow right into the vehicle in front of them.
5. Keep your distance when it’s wet. If you thinking driving on wet roads is hard in your car, imagine how hard it is in a ten-ton truck. Trucks have enough difficulty stopping and slowing down, and wet roads only make this harder. If you’re driving near a commercial truck and it’s raining, snowing, or sleeting, be sure to keep plenty of distance between you and the truck. You don’t want them sliding into you and causing a wreck.
6.Call the number on the back. If you see a truck driver swerving, speeding or operating their vehicle in a dangerous way, always make a point to call the number on the back of the truck bed. That way, the driver’s employer can make sure they’re taken off the road. If there’s no number listed, call the police instead. Just be sure to have the license plate number on hand.
Want to avoid commercial truck accidents on your local roads? Then be sure to follow these 6 easy driving tips. Involved in a wreck yourself? Contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today for help.