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Preventing Trucking Accidents: 5 Ways For Drivers To Stay Safe

Any kind of vehicle collision can be horrific, but the stakes are much higher with trucking accidents. Tractor trailer crashes are often particularly devastating for all drivers involved simply due to the sheer size of these vehicles and the speeds at which they travel. While some accidents are the result of unavoidable issues, there are many that can be prevented just by staying aware and following some simple rules on the road. To impede accident and injury from semi truck accidents, automobile drivers should follow these guidelines.

  1. Say No To Tailgating

    Drivers should never follow a truck too closely. Be sure to leave ample room between you and any kind of tractor trailer. Not only will following any vehicle too closely put you at higher risk for a crash in general, but trucks also aren't able to see your vehicle if you're too close. Truck drivers are required by law to leave 400 feet between their semi and the vehicle they're behind. However, many truck drivers choose not to abide by this rule, which can cause trucking accidents. If you see a truck following you too closely, you should slow down rather than feel forced to go faster. This should let the truck driver know to put some distance between you, which will keep everyone safe.

  2. Don't Cut Or Get In Between

    It's never a good idea to cut in front of a semi truck (or any vehicle, for that matter). It's particularly dangerous when dealing with trucks because they require more time to come to a complete stop. Surprising a truck driver in this way could be disastrous and is easily avoided. Drivers also need to be aware that trucks need to take much wider right turns than the average vehicle. For that reason, you should never position your car between the truck and the curb or try to go around them in any way. If you don't, your car could easily get stuck and be squished.

  3. Watch the Brakes and Blind Spots

    Trucks have more blind spots than regular cars do. Not only are they positioned on either side but they're in the back, as well. These blind spots are also larger than yours are, which means that cars can disappear from view for much longer periods. Familiarize yourself with these blind spots and be sure not to travel in them for longer than necessary. You should also pay close attention to their brake lights and directionals and react accordingly.

  4. Exit, Enter, and Pass Carefully

    A lot of people don't like driving right next to or behind trucks. While this is understandable, you should be careful when passing large trucks. You should be sure not to pull back into the same traffic lane until you can clearly view the truck's headlights in your rearview mirror. This allows for more space, which can help a truck driver reduce their speed or stop if necessary. You should also be very cautious when using entrance and exit ramps or merging into traffic. Since trucks can't slow down quickly, you need to take responsibility to create more space than you might normally need. This awareness and extra room can prevent trucking accidents and the need for filing personal injury claims.

  5. Slow Down in Bad Weather

    As it is, speeding is a common problem that can lead to trucking accidents. However, this issue becomes amplified during times of inclement weather. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation found that 23% of all semi-truck accidents are caused by drivers who travel too fast for current road conditions. Therefore, all drivers need to slow down and be especially careful during periods of bad weather and at night. Car and truck drivers alike should check all headlights and taillights to make sure they're operational and clear. When in doubt, reduce your speed and don't make sudden moves during these periods.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a truck-related accident, you need an expert legal team by your side, especially if you need to file a personal injury claim. When you need a Dallas truck wreck attorney, Parks Law Firm is here to help. To find out more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today.

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