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Commercial vehicles like 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, and tractor-trailers convey literally millions of tons of freight from one state to the next every year, making them an essential part of the U.S. economy. Unfortunately, due to their massive size and weight, they can also present a major injury risk to other motorists on the road.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, one person is injured or killed in a truck-related accident every 16 minutes. That adds up to over half a million collisions every year. Fortunately, taking extra precautions when you’re sharing the road with a large commercial vehicle can help prevent accidents and get everyone home safely.
Here are four tips that can help you avoid a catastrophic commercial truck accident.
1. Avoid Distractions
The U.S. Department of Transportation confirmed that over 75% of truck accidents are the fault of passenger vehicle drivers. When you are driving in the vicinity of a large commercial vehicle, avoid distractions like cell phones, GPS systems, or arguments with your kids in the back seat. Keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road at all times, and never operate a car while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
2. Avoid Blind Spots
Drivers of large trucks cannot see anything past the middle of their vehicle, and don’t even have a rearview mirror to observe cars behind them. To help avoid a collision while driving near a truck, avoid these blind spots. If you need to pass, signal early so that the driver has time to see you, and drive as quickly as possible until you’ve safely passed.
3. Never Cut Off a Commercial Truck
This is one of the primary causes of collisions between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. These massive trucks are so heavy, especially when carrying a full load, that they take longer to stop, and even slowing down is a gradual process. If you cut them off, they may not be able to stop in time to prevent a collision.
4. Keep Your Distance When the Weather is Bad
If it is raining or snowing (or a dangerous combination of both) and you’re sharing the road with an 18-wheeler, make sure that you keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the truck. If you think that icy roads make it risky to drive a car, imagine how difficult it is for a large commercial truck that has difficulty stopping and slowing down even when weather conditions are ideal. To prevent them from sliding into you and causing an accident, stay at least a car’s length behind.
At GA Injury Advocates, we understand that accidents can happen even when you take all appropriate precautions. This can occur if the other party is not so careful with their own vehicle. If a truck driver fails to exercise proper care and you or your passengers are injured as a result, contact us at (770) 766-0555 or via our online contact form. We are available for you when you need us. Hablamos español.
GA Injury Advocates
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