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Sharing the road safely with large trucks

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Truck Accidents |

Driving alongside large commercial vehicles is an everyday occurrence, yet it carries risks that demand your attention. Recent data from the National Safety Council (NSC) paints a sobering picture: In 2022, large trucks were involved in 5,837 fatal crashes – a slight but concerning increase from the previous year and a significant 49% rise over the last decade.

The frequency of these tragedies underscores a harsh reality: when large trucks are involved in accidents, the consequences can be severe. It’s not just about the fatal incidents – large trucks were also involved in over 120,000 crashes that resulted in injuries last year alone.

The numbers are climbing, and with most victims being occupants of other vehicles, it’s a stark reminder of the vulnerability you face in your car. Understanding these statistics is the first step toward making safer choices on the road.

Navigating highways with 18-wheelers

Sharing the road with massive trucks is unavoidable, but accidents are not. To keep yourself out of harm’s way, consider these actionable steps:

  • Pass with care: Overtaking a large truck? Always pass on the left and do so swiftly, without lingering beside the vehicle. Trucks have notable blind spots, and hanging out there could put you in an unseen danger zone.
  • Maintain distance: Stay clear of trucks when possible. Tire blowouts from a semi can send dangerous debris your way, and slick roads increase the risk of your vehicle sliding under a large truck.
  • Dim your lights: High beams can blind truck drivers just as they can you. To prevent this, avoid using high beams when following or passing a truck.
  • Signal early: Large trucks require more distance to stop. If you need to brake on the highway, signal your intentions early to give truck drivers ample time to react.
  • Avoid distractions: Texting or reaching for objects while driving can lead to catastrophic errors. Always keep your focus on the road, especially when large trucks are present.

Understanding truck drivers’ limitations regarding visibility, turning and braking is crucial. This knowledge could be the difference between a close call and a collision.

Understanding the aftermath of truck-related accidents

Recovering from an accident involving a large truck can be a complex journey. The sheer size and weight of commercial vehicles often result in more significant damage and severe injuries compared to collisions between passenger cars.

If a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence injures you or a loved one, protecting your rights is essential. Truck accidents can be complex due to the potential liability of more than one party, some with deep pockets and expensive lawyers. A knowledgeable truck accident attorney can help you sort through the details of your claim and work toward fair compensation.