Commercial truck accidents are some of the most dangerous accidents in which to be involved. They often lead to severe physical injuries, damage to property and in worse scenarios, death. In 2013, there were 338,000 road accidents involving large trucks in the country. Of these, 3,906 were fatal, 73,000 caused physical injury and 265,000 caused damage to property.
The reason truck accidents are so dangerous is because of their sheer size and weight. Think of an 18-wheeler or a large commercial truck speeding on the expressway. If an accident were to occur, the damage would be significant. It is estimated that the average cost of a truck road accident is $60,000.
If you have been injured in a commercial trucking accident a Texas personal injury attorney can help you understand the legal options available to you.
Tips on How to Avoid Commercial Truck Accidents
1. Avoid The Blind Spots
Trucks have bigger blind spots than regular vehicles. These blind spots are directly behind the truck, directly in front of the truck and on the right side. A car that is in either of these positions relative to a truck is barely visible to the truck driver.
The worst blind spot is actually on the passenger side of the truck. This is why in most states it is illegal to overtake a truck on the right side. If you overtake a car on the right, the driver may not see you passing. If the truck makes a turn, it is only after your car is crushed that the driver will see you.
If you want to overtake a truck, use the left lane and make sure you are visible on the truck’s mirror. When you do pass the truck, make sure there is adequate space between you two before moving back into the lane.
2. Do Not Follow Too Closely
Never drive too close to a truck. If you are in front of a truck, move as far ahead as possible. Not only will you be maintaining visibility, you will also give the truck enough space to brake. Because of their weight and size, trucks require a longer stopping distance to brake. If you are too close in front of it and you brake suddenly, you will get rear-ended.
If you are behind a truck, move as far back as possible. Do not tailgate the truck. Drivers of non-commercial vehicles who rear-end a truck are very likely to die when their cars make contact with the truck’s rear end bumper.
If you are passing a truck on the left, do so as fast as possible.
Always keep your distance, even more so in dangerous weather or on wet roads.
3. Give Trucks Space to Turn
Trucks require plenty of space to make a turn. Generally, the longer the truck, the more the space it requires. This is why many trucks swing wide or go into other lanes to negotiate turns.
If you are approaching a truck from behind and it makes a turn at an intersection, slow down until it has completed its turn, then proceed.
If the truck indicates it is turning into your lane, slow down and flash your high beams two times to indicate consent. This gesture is highly appreciated by professional drivers.
4. Clear the Road
When you pull over in an expressway used by trucks, make sure you are off the road or, at the very least, have left enough space. Inattentive truck drivers have caused accidents with stationary vehicles. This is no surprise, given that 18 percent of truck accidents are attributed to driver fatigue.
If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident, you may be eligible for damages. Schedule a consult with the Texas truck accident attorneys at The Tony Nguyen Law Firm today.