Commercial Vehicles And Safety
Today there are more commercial trucks on the road than ever before and this workforce transports 80% of America’s cargo. The industry itself is worth nearly 800 billion, as billions of tons of cargo get carried across the country every year and that number is only increasing as businesses continue to flourish and people enter the workforce to make and spend their money.
That said, with increasing freight vehicles, the number of commercial truck accidents has been on the rise, and truck accidents account for 11% of motor vehicle-related deaths in 2018. This is a startling number considering that this percentage has been increasing despite better technology and trucking regulations.
While government agencies can continue to do their part to make our roads a safer place to traverse, we as drivers must do our part as well. This includes continuing to practice safe, defensive driving, not just around other four-wheeled passenger cars like our own, but also being able to adapt to the standard for driving near or around commercial trucks as well. Here’s a refresher on what we as drivers of passenger vehicles can do to stay safe when driving near commercial trucks:
1. Maintain distance: They say that the difference in a truck’s weight relative to a passenger car is the primary contributor to collisions. This is because people often don’t think about the fact that it takes significantly more time and effort for a truck to brake and come to a full stop. So you’ll want to have at least 4 to 6 truck lengths in front of you so you can have a buffer zone in front of your vehicle. You’ll want to consider your tires and weather conditions as well, as this will increase the length you need to stop as well as the truck in front of you.
2. Stay out of blind spots: As a lawyer from a law firm, like a truck accident law firm such as one like Childress Loucks & Plunkett knows, perhaps the worst thing you can do is drive in a truck’s blind spot: directly behind a truck, directly in front, below the driver’s mirrors, and along the back diagonally on both sides. It’s in these areas that the driver can’t see you and make adjustments in driving to accommodate you. It’s also where you’re most vulnerable to get into a collision.
3. Don’t cut them off: As mentioned previously, driving directly in front of a truck is driving in its blind spot. Also, trucks need significantly more space to come to a stop. If you stop before a truck while directly in front of it, it will likely crash into you because it is slower to brake, even if you already stopped your vehicle.
Do you need legal assistance after you were injured in a truck accident? Reach out to a local law firm to see what they can do for you today.