Large Trucking Accidents on the Rise
Big trucks and 18-wheelers are a staple on the Texas highways, but they are also often the cause of serious accidents. Unfortunately, accidents involving big trucks occur quite frequently in Texas, resulting in devastating injuries, or worse. The trucking industry has a large presence in Dallas, namely on I-30, I-35, and I-45. Because of this, it is important to learn how to stay safe around trucks and share the highway with them.
One of the main reasons why trucks are so dangerous is their sheer size and volume. Trucks weight upwards of 20-30 times more than passenger vehicles and are much taller than regular cars. This can result in smaller cars going underneath trucks in crashes. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nearly 4,000 people died in large truck accidents in 2016. Sixty-six percent of these deaths were occupants of other vehicles and passenger cars, 16 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists, and 17 percent were truck occupants. Perhaps most shockingly, the number of people who die as a result of large truck accidents rose by 27 percent in 2016 from 2009.
How to Stay Safe Around Trucks
Staying safe around large trucks can be overwhelming for many drivers. However, many accidents can be prevented by simply following a series of safety procedures. It is the job of a truck driver to pay attention to his surroundings and never drive when tired or under the influence of drugs and alcohol, however, this happens all the time. This is why it is so important for you to learn how to share the road with 18-wheelers and stay safe while in your own vehicle. Here are a few tips to help you:
● Always Wear Your Seatbelt – Wearing your seatbelt is one of the first things you can do to protect yourself from injury following an accident with a large truck. Seatbelts save lives, yet one in six truck drivers do not wear their safety belts and more than 40 percent of all crash-related deaths occur as a result of not wearing a seatbelt.
● Stay Out of the Blind Spot – Large trucks have huge blind spots, also referred to as “No Zones”. A general rule of thumb is that if you can’t see the driver in the truck’s side mirror, they can’t see you. Avoid a truck’s blind spot whenever possible and make a point to either slow down or move ahead in order to remain visible.
● Pass with Care – When passing a large truck, make sure you can see the driver and signal clearly before moving over into the other lane. Accelerate quickly and get out of the truck’s blind spot as fast as you can. When passenger vehicle’s do not pass with care, they can create a dangerous situation.
● Never Tailgate – Another mistake many drivers make is tailgating or driving too close to a large truck. Tailgating is always dangerous, but this is especially the case when you cut off a commercial truck or ride too close to them. Not only are you likely in their blind spot, but they don’t have the same braking capabilities you do.
● Practice Patience – Road rage is often the reason why accidents involving large trucks take place, which is something that can be avoided with a little bit of patience. Weaving through traffic, driving aggressively, and getting angry at the truck driver can cause distractions and result in serious accidents taking place.
It is important to practice safe driving all the time, but especially when on one of the many busy highways in Dallas. Trucks have a huge presence and can make for a dangerous commute, which is why you should take the above tips into consideration. If you have been involved in an accident with a big rig or 18-wheeler, be sure and contact one of the Dallas truck accident lawyers here at Shamieh Law.