Establishing fault is a major factor in a truck accident. Truck accident statistics show that many times it’s the negligent actions of the truck driver that cause accidents, but other times, it’s the fault of a motorist. It’s important to understand how to prevent these serious types of crashes.
Avoid Unsafe Driving Acts that Could Cause a Truck Accident
One of the things that makes car-truck accidents unique is the difference in size. Semis can weigh several thousand pounds — no match for a smaller vehicle, even a pickup truck or SUV. The size difference can impact the outcome of an accident. Read on to see how you can make drive time easier for yourself and others on the road.
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There is So Much to See!
Anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road is a distraction. This could include a visual distraction — such as looking at a GPS or checking on children in the rearview mirror. Another type is manual distraction, which is anything that takes one or both hands off the wheel. Eating, texting and adjusting dials are examples.
One form of distraction people don’t always think about is cognitive. This is when the person’s mind isn’t on driving. Remember what you learned in driver’s education — constantly switch your gaze between the windshield, rearview mirror and side mirrors. Keeping track of how traffic flows around you prepares you for any sudden changes and keeps your mind occupied while driving.
The Good Samaritan: Polite Merging
Merging incorrectly around a truck is dangerous. It takes much longer for big rigs to slow down or stop, which could lead to a crash. Don’t merge last minute, cutting off the truck. Also, after merging into the same lane, maintain your speed. Slowing down in front of a truck could result in a rear-end collision.
Another dangerous driving act is to cut off a truck in an attempt to change lanes. Before moving over, motorists should make sure there is plenty of room to do it in a safe manner. Also, don’t change lanes in front of a truck and then slow down. This will force the truck driver to put on the brakes, which can cause a crash
A Rolling Stop Isn’t a Stop (Just Ask the Police)
Of course, going right through a stop sign or a red light can cause an accident. Even attempting to beat a light can result in devastating consequences if there’s a semi in the intersection. The rule of thumb for an actual stop – that police consider a stop – is four seconds at the intersection. You can keep track by silently spelling S-T-O-P in your head and then roll on through.
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Leave Speeding to the Professionals
Driving higher than the posted speed limit is always dangerous, not necessarily because you are a bad driver but because others could be. Miscalculating a truck’s speed while driving 45 miles per hour yields very different consequences than if you do it at 75 miles per hour.
The Blind Spot: A Truck Has Four
Trucks have more (and larger) blind spots than passenger cars. In general, a truck driver can’t see you if you can’t see him or her in the left or right side mirrors. But blind spots also exist directly behind the truck and in the front of the cab. Not lingering behind or alongside a truck is the best way to avoid an accident.
Establishing Fault after a Truck Accident
If someone sustains serious injuries in a truck crash, it’s important to seek legal counsel. An attorney at Bressman Law will help mount an investigation to determine who was at fault. This impacts the ability to file a claim and recover damages, so for financial recovery call (614) 538-1116.