Truck accidents are typically more serious than other vehicle accidents due to the truck’s size and weight. A fully loaded semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Even unloaded, a big rig can weigh 25,000 pounds. That is enough to cause an extraordinary amount of damage to other vehicles and people who may be involved in a collision with the truck. Another potential danger may be created by the type of cargo being hauled. The cargo may be hazardous materials, or the load may shift following a collision. This can create a deadly situation for other drivers.
The following tips may help drivers of smaller vehicles avoid being involved in an accident with a big truck.
Avoid the Blind Spots
A general rule is if you can’t see the trucker’s reflection in his side mirror, then the driver can’t see your vehicle. This means you are in one of the truck’s blind spots. Do not follow too closely behind the truck. The trailer is so long that it creates a blind spot there. It also obscures your vision as to what is ahead of the truck. Other blind spots are directly in front of the cab and along each side of the truck, especially on the right.
Avoid passing trucks on the right, which is their largest blind spot. Do not drive alongside the truck for long periods. Pass quickly on the left side of the truck, and do not cut back in too close. Remember to use your turn signals when changing lanes so the trucker knows what to expect.
Beware of Wide Right Turns
Trucks need more clearance when turning, especially to the right. They may actually swing out to the left before turning right. The trucker also has less visibility. Always allow trucks more room rather than less.
Keep your eyes on the road while driving. Inattentiveness for even a few seconds can lead to an accident. Remember that trucks have less ability to maneuver, need a longer stopping distance, and have bigger blind spots than passenger vehicles. Focusing on the road allows you to better estimate the truck’s speed, especially when merging into traffic, changing lanes, and turning.
Truck Accident Statistics
According to 2020 statistics from the National Safety Council, large trucks accounted for 9% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes. The majority of these deaths were occupants of other vehicles. More crashes occurred on rural, non-interstate highways during daytime hours. Only 5% of truck crashes happened in construction zones.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident with a big truck, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Greenville attorney Venus Poe can help you navigate the complex process of dealing with a truck accident in South Carolina. She can help you get the medical attention you need by cutting through the insurance red tape. Contact her office today for a free consultation about your case.