Every day, at least eight people lose their lives in accidents caused by distracted drivers. Statistics show 93 percent of all truck accidents are caused by drivers and by not vehicle malfunctions. Learning defensive driving skills won’t guarantee that you’ll prevent getting into a truck accident, but it can lower your risk and put you at ease when traveling.
So, how can truck accidents be prevented?
Let’s look at a few prevention strategies.
Know the Causes of Truck Accidents
The leading causes of truck accidents are human errors related to the following:
- Improper lookout
- Excessive speed
Lots of truck accidents occur due to tire blowouts. When a tire of a commercial vehicle busts while traveling, the truck driver loses control and debris is slung into other vehicles. The result can be a fatal or injury-causing accident.
All passenger vehicles, including small vehicles, have blind spots. These are areas where another vehicle may be situated, but the driver can’t see them. Big rig trucks have more prominent blind spots than passenger vehicles.
You can find these blind spots on all four sides of a truck. They are referred to as “No-Zones.” A rule of thumb is that a truck driver cannot see your vehicle if you are fewer than 20 feet in front of the truck or if you are fewer than 30 feet behind the truck. Truck drivers also have one lane of blind spot on the left side of the truck and two lanes on the right.
By staying out of these blind spots, you protect yourself from being sideswiped.
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Practice Proper Passing
Pass quickly and carefully when passing a truck, bus, or similar large commercial vehicle. You’ll want to pass on the left and signal the cab when driving past the truck. If you do this, you will safely enter the truck’s blind spot. Just make sure that you don’t stay there long. Watch your speed as you pass.
Make Room on the Road
Remember, trucks make wide right turns. Right-turning trucks will need room to maneuver fully. Usually, they require at least 55 feet of space. Since a truck’s turns can be very wide, you should give plenty of space.
However, if you have to be near them, don’t stay in the driver’s blind spot. If a truck seems to be coming toward you and you think the driver does not see you, you should immediately honk your horn.
Be Patient and Pay Attention
Many fatal accidents happen because of road rage or drivers who turn aggressive. This goes for the drivers of passenger vehicles and truckers alike. Truck drivers work long hours and are often under a lot of stress. Treating them aggressively, even for obvious mistakes, can distract them and cause an accident.
You’ll also want to make sure that you’re always paying attention. So many truck accidents can be avoided when other drivers have their focus on the road.
This means not using phones, keeping conversations light, and making sure pets and other items are secure.
Of course, not all truck accidents can be avoided, even with the best effort.
Looking for more information or have questions about a recent California truck accident?
Consult with Premier Truck Accident Lawyers by calling toll-free 866-999-9085 today. Using our 52 years of combined experience in personal injury cases, we will make sure you receive the maximum amount of compensation available for your truck accident injuries and get you the help you deserve.
About the Author
For over 40 years Steven Peck's dedication to law has been unyielding. His approach to client representation and care is deeply respected by his colleagues and clients alike. Steven has extensive trial experience, with millions of dollars in damages recovered for clients in lawsuits throughout California.