In order to prevent truck accidents, we must all work together. Road safety is a concern for all drivers. Sharing the road with large commercial trucks often takes this concern to a new level.
Due to their size and weight, trucks can cause devastating accidents, resulting in severe injuries and fatalities. However, it is not often the truck driver who is injured. Instead, the inhabitants of the passenger vehicles in the truck’s path are the victims. Therefore, learning how to share the road with trucks is vitally important.
When we can’t prevent truck accidents, it’s crucial to have the help of a truck accident lawyer. After suffering injuries or losing a loved one, the physical, emotional, and financial tolls can be overwhelming. Patrick Daniel Law is dedicated to helping you receive the compensation you deserve when you need it most.
Call (713) 999-6666 today for a FREE consultation. We serve clients in Houston and throughout Texas.
The majority of lives lost in truck accidents are those of the people in the passenger cars involved, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). That has a lot to do with the fact that an 18-wheeler weighs 20–30 times more than the average passenger car. Trucks also have a much higher ground clearance. This vast difference in size means that it is in everyone’s best interest to learn how to prevent truck accidents.
According to the National Security Council’s Injury Facts, there were 5,788 fatalities due to truck accidents in 2021. Of the lives tragically lost in those accidents, 72% were occupants of other vehicles and 11% were pedestrians or bicyclists. Only 17% were truck occupants. Though their lives are equally important, the shocking difference in statistics underlines the critical need for preventive measures.
The Texas Transportation Code and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) set regulations that truck drivers and trucking companies must follow. These include hours of service regulations, weight limits, driver qualifications, and maintenance requirements. However, as a driver sharing the road with these large vehicles, understanding your role can help prevent truck accidents.
To protect you and your family, we’ve put together some tips for passenger vehicle drivers on how to share the road with large commercial trucks safely.
The most important strategy when sharing the road with trucks is to give them space. Large trucks cannot speed up or slow down as quickly as passenger vehicles. They take up more of the lane than other vehicles and need more room to maneuver and make turns. Give them plenty of space, and you will reduce the risk of an accident.
Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the truck, whether ahead or behind. This distance allows you both more time to react to stops or emergencies. Never dart into the path of a large truck, and give yourself plenty of space when a truck is in front of you. If you have to stop quickly or are hit from behind, the extra distance could keep you from going under the truck in front of you.
“Most people I know get a little nervous when they find themselves traveling alongside a large truck on the highway, and for a good reason. Who’s more likely to die in a large truck accident, the larger or smaller vehicle occupants? Clearly, large trucks have the advantage.”Patrick Daniel, attorney and founder of Patrick Daniel Law
Trucks have large blind spots. With this in mind, put safety first when passing large commercial vehicles. Always make sure you can see the driver in their side mirror. If you can’t, they can’t see you either. Additionally, trucks have their biggest blind spot on their right. Make sure to pass safely via the left and be patient.
This applies to all interactions while driving. However, it is even more vital when dealing with large trucks as it takes longer to slow and turn them should the need arise. Whether you’re changing lanes or making a turn, signaling well in advance notifies the truck driver of your intentions and makes it easier for them to react appropriately.
Although this rule also applies to driving in general, it becomes increasingly critical when driving alongside large trucks. Texting, eating, or using the phone while driving are distractions that can be fatal when sharing the road with a truck. Focused driving may not prevent truck accidents in every case, but it can help.
Take everything we’ve said and then use even more caution after dark and when there is inclement weather. Low visibility and slippery roads increase the likelihood of accidents in general. Those accidents can become catastrophic when a truck is involved. Always be extra vigilant during these times.
As nerve-wracking as it can be on the road, it is crucial to keep calm and collected. It’s tempting to lay on the horn after a reckless truck driver cuts you off, but keeping a level head is important. We’ve seen what happens when someone angrily navigates their car in and out of traffic only to end up in a preventable accident. Motor vehicles are not weapons or shields; you are still vulnerable should a collision occur. Keep your cool, and save lives.
Preventing truck accidents is a shared responsibility. Both truck drivers and other road users must adhere to safety guidelines and exercise due caution. Knowledge is the first step in prevention.
Despite taking all necessary precautions, accidents can still occur. This is when a truck accident attorney can be essential. At Patrick Daniel Law, we help accident victims navigate the complex legal landscape of truck accidents. From investigating the causes to holding the responsible parties accountable, we ensure our clients get the justice they deserve.
Stay safe, and take steps to prevent truck accidents. However, if you are unable to avoid an accident and the terrible losses that come with it, contact Patrick Daniel Law for a FREE consultation. We will help to pursue just compensation in your case.