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Truck Accidents – Prevent Deadly Situations with These Tips

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If you have driven on a highway, there’s a high probability that you have had moments where you didn’t know whether to overtake or give space to a massive 18-wheeler truck. The enormous size of trucks gives fright and can pose a risk on the road and lead to devastating accidents if any crash occurs with another vehicle or an object.

Qualified Truck Accident Lawyers know the disastrous effects truck accidents can have, causing life-threatening injuries and changing the person’s life. So they can help you, and your loved one get the legal representation to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Accidents involving trucks are far more serious than normal smaller vehicle accidents due to their size, high speed, and cargo type. More than half of the accidents on highways involve a large truck. This is why both the drivers of the truck, as well as those of smaller vehicles, should know how to drive safely on roads to prevent accidents.

Tips for drivers of smaller vehicles

It is better to be careful and ensure safety than regret later. Driving cautiously is important to remember, especially when near a large truck.

1) Use caution

Always use caution when passing a large truck. These heavy and large trucks cannot move, decrease speed, and halt as quickly as other smaller vehicles, so truck drivers need more time to react to a stimulus. So you should follow the tips below:

  •         Do not overtake a truck in an uphill or downhill area.
  •         If a truck passes your vehicle, slow down and give it space and time to pass safely.
  •         Approach the truck along the driver’s side so that they can see you and the signal you are giving for passing. Keep your vehicle’s speed steady when passing.
  •         Ensure the driver can see you clearly and only then merge back into the lane in front of the truck. Never merge in front of a truck when the traffic slows down because the truck takes more time to stop, so you don’t want to be in its way when it’s braking.
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2) Stay away from blind spots

Large trucks have a lot of blind spots as compared to other vehicles. To know whether you are in the truck’s blind spot is to look at its side mirrors; if you cannot see the truck driver in the mirror, the truck driver cannot see you. In addition to this, avoid these common blind spots:

  •         30 feet behind the truck and 20 feet in front of it
  •         The passenger side, two lanes wide
  •         On the driver’s side from the trailer’s half-length

3) Lower headlights

Bright headlights at night can reflect from side mirrors and blind the drivers. So you must keep your headlights lowered when near vehicles, especially large trucks. Blinding a truck driver can lead to devastating outcomes.

4) Be clear and predictable in giving signals

A sudden change of lane or overtake may not give truck drivers enough time to adjust their vehicle and lead to a collision. If you are near a large truck, you need to provide clear and proper signals for passing or changing lanes so that the truck driver knows your intention. Moreover, you need to use signals beforehand to allow the truck driver enough time to react to them.

5) Be careful when you pull over

If you need to pull over from a highway, you must have a wide opening to allow ease and avoid passing in front of the trucks.

6) Allow plenty of space

Do not drive near a large truck for a long time and avoid it as much as you can because this can increase the risk of being involved in accidents with the truck due to truck tire blowouts, abrupt braking of trucks, or strong winds that cause trucks to rollover.

So if there is a truck in your lane, you need to follow it at a safe distance, pass the truck only when there is plenty of space, give it plenty of space when it’s turning and never pass a turning truck from the side it is turning towards.

7) Avoid distracted driving

Driving on a highway is not easy, as it can become boring due to its monotonous landscape and driving. But this does not mean that you drive while being tired and distracted. Distracted driving is of the leading causes of accidents. So keep your eyes on the road and avoid using mobile phones, eating, and drinking, or other things that may cause you to take your eyes off the road for even a second.

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Tips for truck drivers

Just like drivers of small vehicles have to be careful to avoid accidents, truck drivers also need to drive carefully while on the road. Driving a large vehicle comes with a huge responsibility that truck drivers need to withhold.

1) Drive within the speed limit

The speed limit is the maximum speed you can drive on a particular road. But you need to be reasonable regarding the type of vehicle you are driving and the weather conditions and adjust your speed accordingly. This will ensure that you avoid catastrophic accidents, transport the cargo safely to its destination and get your job done on time.

2) Talk with customers before setting out

Since trucks need to get off highways and drive through local roads to get to retailers and warehouses, you also need to access this area. Call customers beforehand to ask about road conditions and any hazards that may affect driving. This will not only save your time but also protect you from dangers.

3) Prepare beforehand

You must be familiar with the route you will take before you set out to make deliveries. Plan by checking the map and the roads, entrances, and exits you will have to take. Also, know your underpass and bridge clearances to avoid getting stuck and delaying transport or worse accidents. A GPS is not right for large vehicles like commercial trucks, so you need to take help from a map.

4) Plan the delivery

Suppose you are going to transport goods to a crowded and populated area. Before you move in to make the delivery at your destination, it is essential that you know the delivery site. You should know that there will be pedestrians and cars on the road, so if you do not have a clear sight of the place, it’s best to park your truck far away and physically go to the area to assess the situation. Then only will you be able to avoid hitting other cars and pedestrians and avoid devastating accidents.

5) Know about your truck

You need to know about the kind of vehicle you are driving, how to operate it, identify problems, and what to do when things are not right. Knowing when a sound means trouble is essential for you as a truck driver to address it on time. Problems with the vehicle are also common causes of truck accidents. Problems with steering, brake failure, and damaged cargo holders can increase the risk of an accident.

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6) Know what you are transporting

You need to know what is in the cargo that you are transporting. This is important because, in case of emergency, you should know that the material you are transporting does not contain hazardous substances, and if it does, you should know what to do beforehand. A small accident can become a large one if the things you are transporting contain hazardous substances.

7) Carefully use your spotter

A spotter can make life easier, but they can only help you to a certain extent. A spotter usually watches one area of a truck; for instance, it may be watching the back of the trailer or overhead clearance. It cannot watch both areas simultaneously, so you need to watch them yourself.

8) Follow driving hour rules

Rules surround the number of hours you need to drive, the number of breaks you need, and the number of hours of sleep you need to take. These rules are extremely important for your safety and the safety of others on the road. An exhausted truck driver can jeopardize everyone’s life. Even though it’s not an easy job, you need to ensure you are doing it efficiently and following the rules.

9) Avoid intoxicated driving

Using drugs like cocaine or amphetamines can help drive away from fatigue and drowsiness, but they are unnatural ways that can affect your thinking capabilities. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can increase overspeeding, reckless, and rash driving. This behavior behind the wheel is known to cause catastrophic accidents on the road.

10) Avoid distractions

Just like other drivers, truck drivers need to avoid distractions. Distracted driving can cause accidents in the blink o an eye. Sending and receiving messages, calling, using mobile phones, eating and drinking are all activities that make the driver take their eyes off the road. So you must avoid all these distractions while driving.

Conclusion

Accidents can happen, and even the most careful driver can get into these. But if you do get into a truck accident, you can always get legal help from professionals, who will ensure that your rights are protected and that you get the compensation for injuries as soon as possible. But by understanding your responsibility behind the wheel and following these tips, you can avoid and prevent dangerous situations and thus devastating accidents with 18-wheeler trucks.

About Chef Lilian

Your favorite recipe author, faithful to every course. Mail me at chef@foodwellsaid.com

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