Personal Injury Lawyer
Any vehicle accident has the potential to be catastrophic, but accidents involving large tractor-trailers are especially hazardous because of the massive size and weight of these vehicles. National statistics show that there are more than 400,000 truck crashes every year, causing approximately 4,000 deaths and another 80,000 injured victims.
One of the most intimidating experiences for a driver is to have a huge 18-wheeler pull up beside you or behind you as you’re traveling down the highway. It can be a nerve-wracking experience, knowing the destruction that a commercial truck can cause should it roll over, jackknife, or the driver loses control.
There are steps that vehicle drivers can take when they are on the road and find themselves sharing their space with a tractor-trailer. A truck accident lawyer Silver Spring, MD relies on offers the following tips:
Don’t be impatient: Due to their huge size and heavy weight, especially when transporting freight, it often takes them longer to both slow down and accelerate. There are also certain rules of the road that truck drivers are required to adhere to that regular vehicle drivers may not be aware of. It can be frustrating to get stuck behind a truck, especially if you are in a hurry, but being impatient and displaying that impatient by tailgating and lane jumping can result in a deadly truck crash.
Blind spots: A driver who is driving a tractor trailer or other commercial truck has blind spots where they are unable to see vehicles or other objects. These blind spots are located in the front, back, and sides of the truck. There is no way for another vehicle driver to know if the truck driver can actually see them. This is why it is critical to always assume they cannot see you when you are changing lanes or merging into traffic with a large truck.
Watch for wide turns: Maneuvering these massive vehicles can be difficult, even for a driver who has extensive training and experience. Trucks need much more space to when making a turn compared to other types of vehicles. It is not uncommon for a truck to have to move into the middle of the road when taking a turn. Keep an eye out for any turn signals the driver gives and try to allow the truck enough room to make these turns. Do not try to pass a turning truck on the right-hand side or follow too closely.
Watch when you are passing: Always use your turn signals when you are passing a truck and getting into their lane. Do not merge into the lane until you are sure there is plenty of room between you and the truck. Always make sure you can see the truck in your rearview mirror before you actually pull into the lane.
Practice safe driving habits: Drivers should always practice safe driving habits, such as always buckling up their seat belts, avoiding distracted driving behaviors, never driving when tired, and never driving when under the influence.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their insight into trucking accidents and lawsuits.