How to Avoid Truck Accidents
According to truckinginfo.net, the commercial trucking industry employs more than 3.5 million commercial truck drivers. The trucking industry is essential to the United States economy; truck drivers deliver more than 70 percent of the freight transported each and every year. Truck drivers drive more than 433 billion miles each year, and while we hope those drivers do their best to ensure the safety of the smaller vehicles they share the road with, sometimes safety measures are compromised. Furthermore, with a fully-loaded commercial truck weighing in at 80,000 pounds, and a passenger vehicle weighing closer to 3,000 pounds, when an accident between the two occurs, those in the passenger vehicle stand little chance of escaping the accident without serious injury or death.
What is a truck driver’s “No-Zone?”
There are specific areas around a large commercial truck where the truck driver has limited or no visibility. These areas include the left and right rear areas of the truck, as well as directly behind the truck. The larger the truck, the larger the blind spots. Most people in passenger vehicles have their own blind spots, which are different from one vehicle to the next. Truck drivers, however, have a much broader blind zone where it is difficult to see smaller vehicles. A good rule to follow is that if you are unable to see both mirrors on the truck from behind the truck, it is unlikely the truck driver can see you.
Why should you avoid a trucker’s blind spot?
A large commercial truck has little maneuverability from lane to lane. If something unexpected occurs right in front of the truck driver while you are on one side or the other or behind the truck, the truck driver may not see your vehicle as he or she attempts to avoid a collision in the front. Another reason to avoid the blind zones on a truck involves the tires of the truck. Most large commercial trucks have nine tires on either side. The majority of these tires are likely used, recapped with new tread, meaning the tread could potentially fly off at any time, hitting your vehicle, and leading to an accident. On tractor trailers equipped with “super singles,” the tires can blow apart, leading to accidents, injuries, and death.
What types of accidents occur when a truck driver makes a turn?
When a large commercial truck makes a right-hand turn, the truck must swing out far to the left in order to negotiate the turn. If the trucker does not see a vehicle in the blind zone on the left side, the passenger vehicle could be squeezed between the truck and the curb, resulting in a serious accident. In another scenario, a passenger vehicle could be attempting to pass on the right-hand side while the truck driver is navigating a right turn. The passenger vehicle could be in the trucker’s blind zone, causing a collision. Passenger vehicles who pass a truck should do so quickly and safely, lingering in the trucker’s blind zone for the least amount of time possible.
What about flying debris from a large commercial truck?
When the cargo on a large commercial truck is not properly secured, items could fly off, hitting smaller vehicles on the roadway. Trucks may also run over debris in the road, which is then thrown with considerable force, possibly right into your vehicle. Brake drums on tractor-trailers may overheat, cracking and flying apart when the brakes are applied, sending a chunk of metal flying straight into another vehicle. For all these reasons, it is never a good idea to drive too close to a large commercial truck, particularly in the truck’s blind zones.
Why should I hire a truck accident attorney immediately following my truck accident?
It is virtually a certainty that the trucking company will have an attorney—or a team of attorneys—at the scene of the crime within hours, before the vehicles are even removed. The goal of the trucking company will be to limit their liability to the extent possible, meaning they want to pay you nothing, or as little as possible for your truck accident, even if the accident was clearly the fault of the driver, the company, or another entity. You need your own attorney from Hoffoss Devall, who is well-versed in the complexities of truck accidents, who truly has your interests at heart, and who will fight for your rights and your future. Contact Hoffoss Devall today!