by Tim O’Hare
Nearly 5,000 motorists die every year in car accidents involving large trucks. In an accident involving a passenger vehicle and a semi or commercial truck, 74 percent of those killed are passengers in the car. Needless to say, sharing the road with large trucks can be a potential hazard to motorists.
Not all car accidents are unavoidable, but there are a number of steps you can take as a driver to protect yourself and your passengers from an accident that could lead to serious injury or death. Keep yourself and your family safe by following these driving guidelines regarding large trucks:
- Treat trucks differently than other cars. Trucks can weigh as much as 30 times more than a passenger car. Due to their size, it is nearly impossible for semi trucks to come to a sudden stop. For example, a semi truck that is moving at 55 miles per hour can take the length of a football field to come to a complete stop. Avoid cutting off a semi in traffic or putting yourself in a situation where you may have to suddenly stop in front of a semi. The size of an 18-wheeler also makes it difficult for the truck driver to change lanes. Avoid driving directly next to a large truck for a long time.
- Stay visible. Driving next to a semi or directly behind one can make it very difficult for the truck driver to see you. Do not follow too closely or stay directly next to a semi truck. A general rule is that if you cannot see the truck’s side mirrors, the driver cannot see you.
- Do not stop on the side of the road. If you have to stop your vehicle for some reason, avoid stopping on the shoulder of the road. Semi drivers may not see you stopped until it is too late. If you must stop, try to pull completely off of the road, either into the grass or on a side road. If you do stop on the side of the road, do not stay in your car. Get out and move away from traffic.
The best advice for keeping yourself safe on the road with large trucks is to drive with caution, knowing the added difficulty large truck drivers may face when it comes to sudden stops, changing lanes or adverse weather. Negligence on the part of truck drivers is a leading cause of accidents involving large trucks. Roughly one-fourth of truck drivers involved in accidents in 2006 had a previous speeding conviction.
Victims of trucking accidents can receive compensation if they have suffered bodily injury or property damage in an accident caused by the truck driver’s negligence or fatigue. If you have been involved in a traffic accident with a commercial truck, contact the experienced legal team at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare. We will help you receive all due compensation for your injury or loss.
Call The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for your FREE Case Evaluation 972-960-0000 or Toll-Free 888-960-0020