An accident involving a semi-truck or commercial motor vehicle can be devastating – in fact, these crashes can lead to permanently disabling or fatal injuries. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways you can reduce your risk of being in an accident.While you can’t control a commercial driver’s actions, you can drive defensively around them. Observe some safety tips for driving near semi trucks:
- Be a Defensive Driver
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, the most common cause of semi-truck accidents is driver error. Commercial vehicle operators may be distracted for a number of reasons – maybe they’re fatigued or bored, or they might be using their phones or fiddling with the radio. While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets strict rules for how long a driver can be on the road before taking a rest break, not everyone follows them. The stress of tight deadlines or a simple desire to be home again may push drivers to drive longer than they should, and on less sleep.
- Stay Out of Blind Spots
Commercial vehicles, buses, and delivery trucks have larger blind spots. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration calls these “no zones” – if you can’t see their rear-view mirrors, they can’t see you. Never drive in a commercial vehicle’s blind spot, but instead, slow down or get ahead so you stay visible. Remember that when you merge near a truck or bus, you’re likely in their blind spot, so use extra caution and avoid driving side-by-side.
- Drive for Weather Conditions
Georgia doesn’t see much snow or ice, but we do get our fair share of rain. Wet pavement contributes to accidents, as commercial vehicle drivers often have less control and traction in rainy conditions. As big rigs can be more difficult to handle, passenger vehicles must be aware of this hazard and act accordingly in inclement conditions. Provide even more space between semis and your car, and slow down. Semis kick up a lot of water that can lead to hydroplaning, so be wary when passing them on the freeway.
- Control Road Rage
Everyone has the occasional bout of “road rage.” Travel can be frustrating, especially after a long day’s work or in a traffic jam. However, an emotional outburst could lead to a dangerous or even deadly situation. Keeping a level head, even in the most frustrating moments, could mean the difference between a serious injury and making it home to your family safely.
If you travel on the highway frequently, you probably encounter semis on a daily basis. Because they’re so familiar, you might not even think about the dangers they pose. Fortunately, there are simple ways you can drive safely around semis and reduce your risk of being in an accident. Remember, saving a few seconds on your commute isn’t worth the chance of being in a serious accident with a commercial motor vehicle. Take it slow, and drive defensively.
If you have been a victim of a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Kaufman Law to discuss your potential case.