In any accident involving big trucks, those who are in the smaller passenger vehicle are typically the ones in the disadvantage. In 2017, truck accidents caused about 5,000 deaths in the USA alone. About 30 percent of the deaths were the truckers, while the other 70 percent are the victims in the other vehicle.
Nobody wants to be involved in such an ordeal, but you’ll never know when it will happen. When you find yourself in one, you can rely on a truck accident lawyer to defend your rights and help ensure that you get just compensation for injuries and damages. However, it’s still best that you equip yourself with sufficient knowledge so you’d know how to deal with the matter properly and logically.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
There are many factors that can contribute to truck accidents, including driver error. At least half of recorded fatal truck crashes were linked to driver-related factors, such as:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
Meanwhile, accidents can also happen when the truck driver chances upon unexpected issues on the road, such as closed lanes or traffic that suddenly slowed down or stopped. Because of their size, trucks need a bigger stopping distance. If a truck running at a considerable speed will be forced to stop suddenly, it may overturn. Furthermore, it may not be able to stop on time, causing it to crash into another car or property.
Safety Tips for Motorists: How to Drive Safely Near Trucks
If you’re driving a passenger vehicle and you will be on the road with trucks, it will help to keep these safety tips in mind:
- Be visible. Remember that trucks have bigger blind spots. Never assume that the truck driver sees your vehicle when you’re beside, behind, or even in front of it. Basically, if you can’t see the driver’s face reflected on their side mirror, it’s likely they don’t see you.
- Pass with caution. If you want to pass, make sure that you remember the tip above. Then, always exercise caution and stay alert when you pass the truck. If you’re entering the truck’s lane at the front, make sure that you can already fully see the truck on your rear view mirror and give the truck sufficient space. You must also refrain from passing a truck on downgrades, as this is where they usually pick up speed. If a truck is trying to pass you, give way and stay on the right lane.
- Never cut off trucks. Do not move to the truck’s front without sufficient space. Chances are the truck driver won’t see that you’re already in front of the truck, and you might get hit.
- Avoid tailgating. Driving too close behind a truck minimizes your visibility. You are also in danger of sliding under the truck in case it suddenly stops. You should also keep a good distance when stopped in traffic because the truck might roll backward.
What to Do When You Get Involved in a Truck Accident
In the unfortunate case that you get involved in a truck accident, remember to do the following:
- Stay at the scene and wait for medical help and assistance from the authorities.
- Call 911 for help. They can dispatch the police and medical team to your location.
- Check yourself for injuries. If possible, check other victims as well.
- If you or your companion can move, take pictures that will be needed as evidence.
- Ask for a copy of the police report where important details are specified.
- Seek the legal counsel of a truck accident attorney.
When you get in a truck accident, try to stay as calm as possible so you’d remember to do these steps. You should also prioritize your safety, above all.