Navigating roadways across our region, state and country can be downright nerve-wracking. Between inclement weather, roadway construction, potholes, distracted drivers and other risks, it is extremely important to drive with the utmost vigilance at all times–but especially if you are operating or sharing the road with a truck. Let us review a few of the most significant truck accident risks you should be aware of approaching this holiday season.
Truck Accident Risks to Avoid
- Blind Spots: Large trucks are unfortunately prone to large blind spots. Though many are equipped with multiple rearview mirrors, there are still key areas you should avoid when sharing the road. These blind spots are directly in front and behind the truck, as well as near the front left and right of the truck as well. A simple rule of thumb to determine if you are in a danger area is to see if the driver of the truck is visible to you in their mirrors. If you can see the driver, chances are, he or she can also see you. Though this is not a foolproof method, it can help you roughly gauge if you are in a safe zone.
- Wide Turns and Slow Stops: Both truck drivers and other motorists must realize that trucks, especially those hauling large, heavy cargo, take far longer to stop than an average car. Tailgating, swerving erratically and not using your turn signals around trucks can greatly increase truck accident risks and put everyone on the road in danger. Also, be aware that semi-trucks often have to take up much more room to make turns than the average motor vehicle. Give them the room they need to safely maneuver the roadways.
- Distracted Driving: For both truck drivers and other motorists, distracted driving can be a deadly mistake. From focusing on eating fast food to texting while driving, failing to keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road can leave you open to a potentially serious accident. It only takes a second for the car ahead of you to make an unexpected stop, for a careless pedestrian to begin crossing the road or for another motorist to swerve into your lane.
- Drinking and Driving: Yet another potentially deadly and wholly preventable mistake is drinking and driving. By lowering reaction times and affecting the high-stakes judgment calls necessary when driving, motorists should never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol–even certain prescription medications. Though professional truck drivers are highly monitored to ensure they are not under the influence while on the job, fellow motorists need to do their part to ensure safety is their priority while behind the wheel. As stated above, semi-trucks are especially difficult to stop and maneuver around erratic drivers, so adding drunk or “tipsy” motorists can lead to heightened truck accident risks.
- Inadequate Sleep: Yes, sleep can play a major part in avoiding truck accident risks. Reports have shown that drowsy driving can quite seriously affect one’s ability to operate a car, let alone a large truck. Professional truck drivers are mandated to take adequate breaks, including sleep breaks, after clocking in a certain amount of time behind the wheel.
Though there are other truck accident risks for truck drivers and other motorists to consider, the above will at very least help make you more aware of the dangers that come with sharing our roadways with vehicles of all sizes. So, whether you are a truck driver or motorist sharing the roadways with trucks, drive carefully, attentively and avoid these truck accident risks every time you get behind the wheel.
If you are unfortunately involved in an accident involving a large truck such as a tractor-trailer or semi-truck, do not hesitate to contact our personal injury attorneys today. We understand how hectic and confusing the moments after an accident can be. Allow our team to help ensure you receive the compensation you are owed. Do not hesitate to contact Wieland, Hilado & DeLattre at (407) 841-7699.