Four Ways to Prevent Truck Accidents
Collisions with commercial trucks are some of the most devastating accidents on Texas roadways. The Texas Department of Transportation estimates that in 2020 there were at least 32,562 collisions involving commercial trucks in the state. A crash with a large truck can result in significant injuries and life-altering consequences.
While you may not be able to control how a truck driver operates their vehicle, there are steps that you can take to ensure you are doing everything possible to prevent a disastrous collision. Next time you hit the road, the team at The Benton Law Firm wants you to consider these four ways you can prevent a truck accident. If you’ve further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.
Avoid the Truck’s No-Zones
A no-zone is a blind spot. Trucks have several blind spots that restrict the truck driver’s view of their surroundings and make operating these large vehicles stressful and potentially dangerous. Knowing where these blind spots are located is crucial. There are four main no-zones on commercial vehicles. They include:
- Front no-zone – Typically, commercial truck drivers cannot see 20 to 25 feet directly in front of their vehicle.
- Rear No-Zone – Due to the size and shape of most tractor-trailers, these vehicles do not have rear-view mirrors. Drivers can only use their side mirrors to glance behind them. Their rear blind spot extends about 200 feet behind the vehicle.
- Side No-Zones – There are two side no-zones: the left and the right. Both begin at the doors of the cab and extend beyond the end of the trailer. The left-side no-zone is smaller than the right-side no-zone. The left no-zone covers approximately one lane, while the right no-zone covers two lanes. Never attempt to pass a large truck on the right side. Pass on the left and try to do so as quickly and safely as possible.
- Wide turns – Commercial trucks can have difficulties navigating corners and turns. At times, the trailer of the truck may need to extend into other lanes of traffic or close to a curb to complete a turn. Cars too close to a turning truck can be hit or crushed by the turning vehicle.
Avoid Driving While Distracted
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in the United States in 2020. Avoiding distractions goes both ways. While truck drivers need to focus on their job, other motorists need to focus on the road as well.
You can do your part by avoiding activities that can take your eyes, hands, or attention away from the road. Place your cell phone in the back seat while you drive or download an app that keeps you from being able to use your phone while driving. Avoid distracted driving– eating, drinking, and grooming while behind the wheel, and ask passengers to keep their voices down while you drive. If you have questions that need immediate answers, contact us online, or call (214) 777-7777 today.
Keep Your Distance
Blind spots aren’t the only reason you should keep your distance from commercial trucks. Commercial trucks are heavy vehicles weighing up to 80,000-pounds. Both maneuvering and stopping these vehicles can take an incredible amount of time and force. That is why it is always best that you keep your distance.
Do not tailgate a big rig. Give trucks more space when you see them on the road. Changes in traffic patterns, roadways hazards, and inclement weather conditions can cause a commercial vehicle to make sudden adjustments. A driver that cannot properly adjust can cause a serious accident like a rollover or jackknife. Traveling too close to a commercial vehicle can result in you getting caught up in a dangerous situation.
Large trucks can be slow and take up an enormous amount of space. In general, they can be frustrating to share the road with. However, exercising a little patience can go a long way toward preventing a serious accident. Trucks need extra space to maneuver and extra time to power up inclines. They also need a tremendous amount of time to slow down and stop. Give them the time and space they need to do their job safely.
Honking, driving aggressively, or otherwise harassing a truck driver is unsafe. If you believe that a truck driver is driving dangerously, avoid a road rage situation. Simply get to a safe location and file a complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If the threat is serious and immediate, contact local law enforcement.
Get in Touch with an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
Even when you do everything right, you can still be the victim of a truck accident. If you were hurt or even had a loved one killed in a collision with a commercial truck, talk to the skilled truck accident team at The Benton Law Firm about pursuing compensation for your injuries.
We offer a free and confidential case evaluation to help get you started. Contact us online, or call us today at (214) 777-7777 to schedule yours.