Four Ways to Prevent Truck Accidents
Posted on Thursday, January 20th, 2022 at 4:18 pm
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 32,462 crashes involving commercial motor vehicles (CMV) in Texas in 2020, including 513 fatal crashes contributing to 581 fatalities.
Accidents involving 18-wheeler trucks or other large commercial vehicles are often far more severe in terms of destruction and lethality. Therefore, every driver should do their best to prevent truck accidents and save themselves a lot of pain, suffering, and expense. Here are four ways that you can prevent truck accidents when you’re on the road.
Give Trucks Plenty of Space
The simplest way to prevent an accident involving a tractor-trailer or other commercial motor vehicle is to give the truck plenty of space on the road. There are several reasons why this is important.
First, trucks are big and heavy. Therefore, it takes a long time and great distance to stop a truck. If you brake suddenly, cut into a truck’s lane too quickly or without signaling, or follow a truck too closely, you run the risk of colliding with that truck should it be unable to stop in time. Make sure to put ample space in between your car and a tractor-trailer on the road.
A truck’s size also means it has a wide turning radius. For example, when a truck needs to turn right at an intersection, it often must veer into the adjacent lane. Therefore, if you are approaching a tractor-trailer from any direction, be sure to provide ample space and stay alert for the truck’s need to turn.
Another reason to give trucks plenty of space is to avoid tire blowouts. A blowout happens when a truck tire suddenly bursts or ruptures while the truck is traveling at a high speed. It can happen without warning and can cause catastrophic and cascading accidents involving multiple vehicles. It is impossible for you to predict when a truck may suffer a tire blowout. The only way you can prevent being involved in the resulting chaos is by giving trucks on the road plenty of space.
Avoid the Truck’s Blind Spots
Large trucks have multiple blind spots around them. A blind spot is an area around a vehicle that the driver of that vehicle cannot see. With tractor-trailers, these blind spots are huge. Truck blind spots include:
- The lane to the left of the truck below and behind the driver’s window
- The two lanes to the right of the truck behind the cab
- Approximately 20 feet in front of the truck
- Approximately 30 feet behind the truck
An easy way to know if you are in a truck’s blind spot is to look for the truck’s side mirrors. If you cannot see the driver in their side mirrors, then the driver can’t see you.
Pass Carefully and Quickly
There will be times that you must get close to a tractor-trailer, particularly to pass it. If you need to pass a truck, make sure there is enough space ahead of you to get around the truck. Signal that you are going to pass clearly and early. When you are passing the truck, do so as quickly as you can without speeding. Remember that you will be in a driver’s blind spot as you pass the truck. Signal again before merging back into the lane but only when you are a sufficient distance in front of the truck.
Be Predictable and Attentive
Lastly, you can prevent truck accidents by being a predictable and attentive driver. This prevention method has several applications. First, use your signal to clearly communicate your intention to turn or merge. If you fail to do so, a truck driver may be unable to react in time to avoid an accident. Second, be constantly attentive and vigilant, especially when traveling in proximity to tractor-trailers. Truck drivers work long hours. They get bored and tired, just like the rest of us. If you aren’t paying attention, you could quickly find yourself in an accident with a distracted or drowsy truck driver.
Contact Us Today
Even if you do everything within your power to avoid truck accidents, accidents can still happen. If you are involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer that wasn’t your fault, you need an experienced truck accident lawyer who can represent and advocate for you. The Beaumont truck accident attorneys of Portner Bond, PLLC have decades of experience helping people just like you to receive the financial compensation they need and deserve to recover. Call our office today at (409) 838-4444 for a free consultation.