There are tragic consequences when a large semi-truck crashes into a car or pickup truck. The other vehicle’s occupants face severe physical injury, emotional trauma, property damage, paralysis, and even death. The truck driver responsible could lose their license, face large monetary fines, and jail time.
In order to increase road safety, our trucking accident attorneys want truckers to remember these important tips.
- Have a Plan
“Many driving experts preach the importance of ‘defensive driving.’ However, this indicates reacting to situations as they come up. This means you are not taking preventative measures to control your own actions,” explains Scott Mann, trucking accident attorney. “It’s much safer to have a ‘good offense’ based on defensive driving techniques. Truck drivers need to be proactive and make safe decisions that prevent accidents, rather than reacting at the last second.”
- Following Distance
Tractor trailers and semi-trucks are giant vehicles. It requires at least 100 yards before they come to a complete stop. It’s no wonder that most trucking accidents are caused by following too close. In order to maintain a safe distance, truckers need to stay 3 truck lengths (a 4-second interval) between themselves and the other vehicle.
- Use Your Mirrors
“Semi-trucks are especially vulnerable to blind-spots, which is why truck drivers need to use their mirrors at all times,” says Mike Wyatt, trucking accident attorney. “Do not change lanes without making sure it’s absolutely safe to do so. If not, you will either collide with a vehicle in your blind spot, or swerve back into your own lane to find another vehicle waiting. Either way, it’s an accident waiting to happen unless you know precisely what vehicles are in the other lane and what is behind you.”
- Know Your Route
In order to have an “escape plan” when emergencies come up, truck drivers should always plan ahead. In this way they can limit the “surprises” and avoid putting lives in danger. Have a truck stop guide so you know where all fuel, food and rest areas are on your route. Avoid hitting rush hour and check ahead for road conditions, construction, and inclement weather.