August 8 , 2019 | Truck Accidents
Commercial trucks, also called semi-trucks or 18-wheelers, can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and may travel at speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour. When these large trucks slam into smaller vehicles, there is a much greater risk of death or serious injury for occupants in smaller cars.
Underride accidents are also a risk that increases while driving around commercial trucks. This is where smaller vehicles slip underneath a commercial truck’s trailer, often leading to decapitations and catastrophic injuries.
It is immensely important to drive carefully around semi-trucks to reduce the risk of a catastrophic wreck. You can follow our tips below to help improve your safety and reduce the risk of a semi-truck accident.
Give Trucks Plenty of Space
Give large trucks plenty of room. If a truck slams its brakes to avoid a hazard or upcoming traffic, your vehicle could get wedged underneath the truck’s trailer. Trucks may also change lanes, sometimes suddenly, which may cause an accident with other motorists who are driving in close proximity.
In addition, some cargo loading companies may fail to secure cargo, which can turn into deadly missiles that hit other drivers – including you. You can potentially avoid falling cargo by giving yourself enough space to move out of the way.
Finally, there are certain conditions that may cause a truck driver to lose control of his or her vehicle. Poor weather conditions, shifting cargo and poorly maintained trucks can cause drivers to lose control and cause an accident.
Never Drive in the Blind Spots
Truck drivers cannot see you if you are in their blind spots. You should aim to avoid driving around the front, back and sides of the truck. If you cannot see the truck driver on the truck’s side mirror, he or she cannot see your vehicle.
Be sure to pass trucks as quickly and safely as possible and check to see if the truck driver turned on his or her blinker before attempting a pass. Try not to linger too long on the side of a truck, especially near the driver’s blind spot. You should never attempt to pass a truck on the right-hand side because it significantly increases your risk of an accident. It might also be against the law depending on where you are driving.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has a helpful infographic explaining exactly where the blind spots are on commercial trucks.
Pull Over as Far as Possible
If you need to pull over for an emergency, then pull over as far as possible. Each year, there are accidents where sleepy or inattentive truck drivers slam into other vehicles parked on the side of the road.
You should also use your hazard lights to increase visibility, especially at nighttime. However, you should avoid pulling over to the side of the road at night unless you have no other choice. Be sure to call for assistance as soon as you are able.
Be Cautious of Turning Trucks
Truck accidents do not only happen on highways. Intersections are another area where you are at risk of a collision.
Most trucks will swing out a great distance and may take up more of the road than you first anticipated. This could force you into a collision if you are not careful around trucks making turns. You should wait for the truck to complete its turn before making your own turn or entering the intersection.
Pay Close Attention
Give the truck, other drivers and the road your full attention. Distracted drivers may not be able to respond in time to avoid a collision if something goes wrong. Abrupt stops, the truck losing control and other drivers forcing an accident are all possible scenarios that may occur when driving around commercial truckers.
Call a Wisconsin Truck Accident Lawyer at Our Firm for Help After a Crash
You may contact a Wisconsin truck accident lawyer at Martin Law Office, S.C. if you have questions about your possible legal options after a crash involving a semi-truck. Our attorneys can help you determine which options may be available for recovering compensation for your damages. You can learn more about our experience with auto accident cases on our website.
To schedule a free consultation with a truck accident attorney at our law firm, call (414)856-4010 or use the online contact form on our website.