Commercial trucks play a very critical role in our economy here in the United States. However, every year accidents involving commercial trucks and motor vehicles occur. In fact, in just 2008 alone, nearly 124,000 commercial trucks were involved in non-fatal crashes. Staying safe isn’t a problem when proper precautions are followed by truck drivers and regular motorists alike. But first, you have to learn about some safety tips and what you can do to avoid accidents.
What are Some Safety Tips for Truck Drivers?
- Mirrors: It is always vital to double-check mirrors before turning right, due to the fact that motorists may not know that you need to swing wide to the left to make a right turn. They may not realize that you are actually trying to turn.
- Signals: Always use your signals early and often, especially around intersections. Using signals early will give motorists the information they need to decide whether or not to pull alongside you in heavy traffic.
- Tailgating: Commercial trucks can be around 80,000 pounds – remember this, and don’t tailgate!
- Space: Leave extra space between your truck and cars around you when possible. Do this because motorists usually don’t know how long it will take a truck to stop or how much room is needed for safe passing.
- Parking: When pulling off the side of the road, use proper parking areas. If this isn’t possible, use flares when pulling off the road, so that other drivers can visibly see you.
Furthermore, What are Safety Tips for Motorists?
- Awareness: Stay aware on the fact that trucks create wind gusts. It is important to keep both hands on the wheel when you pass a truck or when a truck passes you.
- Room: When you are coming to a stop on a hill, you should always leave plenty of room between you and the truck in front of you. This is because trucks will roll back a bit as the driver takes his or her foot off the brake.
- Speeding: Never speed up when a truck is passing you. A better option is to stay to the right and slow down just a bit so that the truck can pass you. You won’t stay in the truck’s blind spot as long.
- Signals: Give a truck driver space if he or she is signaling to change lanes. They will need approximately 2 ½ football field’s worth of space to change lanes.
Blind spots are something to always keep in mind when you are sharing the road with large trucks. A truck driver’s blind spot actually extends to the front and back and left and right sides of the truck, and are known as “no-zones” that motorists should avoid. This is due to the fact that your vehicle is invisible there, and the truck driver becomes blind to your existence. The front no-zone is 10 to 20 feet in front of the truck, and the rear no-zone is 200 feet behind a truck. As for the sides, if you are in one of their blind spots, you could be in big trouble if the driver decides to swerve or change lanes for any reason.
Share the Road Safety Program
Everybody realizes what a big issue it can be when commercial trucks start getting into accidents on the roadways. This can lead to very serious injury or even death. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has a Share the Road Safety Program that allows commercial truck drivers to set an example for other drivers on how to share the road safely and efficiently. The No-Zone campaign is an initiative set in place to educate people about the blind spots around large trucks and buses. The FMCSA takes pride in the fact that if more people know about how to share the road safely, there will be less crashes, injuries, and fatalities as a whole.
Many companies and organizations are taking charge when it comes to road safety and keeping people informed. Commercial truck drivers are professionally trained and uphold a duty to drive safely; however, motorists also need to take special care when driving around these trucks. If you or a loved one has been injured in a commercial truck-related accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. Call WTW today to speak to an attorney you can trust.