How To Prevent a Truck Accident

Every year, there are more than 500,000 incidents involving trucks recorded on the roads, and over 4,000 of these lead to fatalities. Due to trucks’ significant size and power, a crash can be extremely dangerous and cause serious damage. For obvious reasons, it is crucial for both drivers in smaller vehicles as well as truck drivers to follow safety guidelines to further help prevent trucking incidents.

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According to statistics on incidents involving trucks, common causes include driver fatigue, unsafe speeding, distracted driving, mechanical problems, and weather conditions. Even though dangerous crashes can happen due to a number of unavoidable reasons, drivers can always take extra steps in preventing accidents. This article is a guide to the steps you can take when sharing the road with a truck in order to prevent a crash.

If You Are Involved in a Crash, Contact a Specialized Lawyer

Whilst this first point is not a preventative step, it is quite likely if you are reading this article that you have already been involved in an incident. It is an unfortunate reality of driving that accidents do sometimes happen, even if you follow all the safety guidelines and take the extra precautions which we will lay out in this guide.

If you experience a road incident involving a truck, first seek medical attention and then make sure to get professional help from a specialist lawyer. These two actions will ensure that your injuries get the treatment that they require and that you get the legal assistance you need with all of your legal rights protected.

Expert lawyers are invaluable help when it comes to vehicle incidents as the legal circumstances can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate. Crashes involving trucks are some of the most catastrophic and so often lead to major injuries and vehicle damage and so if you have been caught up in an incident, your attorneys can help you get the compensation you need to pay for your medical bills and vehicle repairs.

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Always Try to Avoid Blind Spots

Trucks normally have more blind spots compared to smaller vehicles such as cars and motorbikes. Blind spots are extremely dangerous, so if you are driving near a truck, try to stay out of areas where a truck driver might find it difficult to see you. Blind spots for trucks are normally located 20 feet in front of the vehicle, 30 feet behind the vehicle, and areas within two lanes wide on the side of the vehicle.

There is a helpful trick for small vehicle drivers to determine whether or not they are in a truck driver’s blind spot; if you can see the driver’s face in his side mirror then he can likely see you too.

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Pass With Extra Caution

Passing a truck is riskier than passing a car as large trucks cannot stop or maneuver as quickly or as easily as small vehicles. Therefore, truck drivers generally need more time to react and adjust their speed. As well as passing on the driver’s side where possible, there are a few other important tips to follow when passing trucks:

  1. Never try to pass a truck going uphill or downhill as their speed is often inconsistent on hills.
  2. Do not attempt to merge into a lane in front of a truck until you can have a clear visual of the driver in your rearview mirror
  3. When a truck wants to make a pass, you should stay on the right side and reduce your speed to allow the driver more space and to reduce your time in their blind spot

Proper Signalling Before Passing

Before passing, changing lanes, or driving around a truck, make sure that you are providing clear signals so that the driver can anticipate your intended actions. Additionally, start signaling earlier than you would if passing a car so that the driver has the additional time they need to adjust. As noted above, ensure that you are not in the truck driver’s blind spot and start signaling.

Wait for a moment to make sure that the driver has seen you and then start your pass. If the truck makes a sudden movement which suggests they don’t know that you are passing, abandon the maneuver and drop back until another passing opportunity presents itself.

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Give Trucks Extra Space

As a general safety rule, it is best to stay well back when driving behind a truck. Whereas three vehicle lengths is a sufficient gap when driving behind a car, aim for at least double that when tailing a truck. Driving too closely greatly increases the chance of an accident for a few main reasons:

  1. Tire remnants from tire blowouts can hit your windshield and put you at risk.
  2. If a truck suddenly stops, you can crash into the back of the truck or even slide underneath it and be crushed.
  3. External and unexpected factors such as high and strong winds can make trucks roll over.

It is important to remember that big trucks can be difficult to control, so in order to help the truck driver out (and in turn ensure your own safety), give them space and courtesy required on the road.

Avoid Distractions and Never Drive Under the Influence

These are two of the leading causes of road incidents, and so this rule should be followed at all times, not just when dealing with trucks. Even though highway driving can be long and boring, you should never play with your cell phone, eat, drink, or listen to loud music when driving. Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs is extremely dangerous, and not only can it cause crashes, but it can also get you in major trouble with the law. Driving under the influence increases the risk of speeding, poor maneuvers, and decreased reaction times.

Incidents involving trucks can be very damaging for everyone involved, including loss of lives, financial damage, medical bills, and trauma. Crashes can happen even with the most cautious and careful drivers so always take extra precautions. Review our tips and always practice safe driving on the road to avoid crashes and stay safe.

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Lisa J. Thompson

Hello, my name is Lisa Thompson and I’m the Founder of Daily Home Insider, your go-to resource for all things home security and home improvement. In this day and age, security should be your top priority, and that’s exactly why my dedicated team of writers and I offer reliable information pertaining to gun storage, home safes, and so much more. When I’m not running the blog, I enjoy gardening and homesteading. As an avid nature lover, I also love going on camping trips. Currently, I happily reside in the heart of Los Angeles.
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