Motor vehicle accidents affect many people every day, but what about trucking accidents?
Commercial trucks are large, heavy and more difficult to manage and not many people understand the part trucks play in annual accidents.
Truckinfo.net states that of the 41,000 to 45,000 traffic deaths every year in the United States, less than 9% of those involve commercial vehicles.
When those trucks are involved in accidents, 80% of the time the incident is the fault of the non-commercial driver.
It is also a commonly held belief that commercial accidents are caused by fatigue or sometimes alcohol usage. According to truckinfo.net only 4% of the annual death related accidents are caused by fatigue and only .06% involved alcohol.
They also state that, “trucks are 3 times less likely to be in an accident than a regular motor vehicle.”
Since, more often than not, it is the fault of the passenger vehicle when a commercial truck is involved in an accident and occupants of the passenger vehicle are more often injured and killed, it is important that drivers are aware of ways to drive safely among trucks.
Roadsafeamerica.org recommends that passenger cars do the following:
• Be extra alert as you approach a large truck. They behave very differently from cars.
• Avoid blind spots around trucks. If you can't see a truck's side mirrors, the truck driver can't see you. One-third of all crashes between large trucks and cars take place in the blind spots around a truck.
• Do not pass a truck on the right while the truck is turning right. Trucks must swing wide to the left to negotiate right turns safely, as the rear wheels follow a shorter path than the front wheels.
• Do not cut in front of any large vehicle, including a truck or a bus. Since they require much more distance to stop in comparison to cars, forcing a large vehicle to stop quickly can result in a fatal accident.
• Use the proper procedure to pass a large truck or bus on the highway. Accelerate slightly and maintain a consistent speed while passing. Wait until you can see the entire cab in your rear-view mirror before signaling and pulling in front of it.
• Observe a truck's turn signals before trying to pass it. If the truck appears to be starting a left turn, check which way the driver is signaling before passing the truck on the right.
• Give trucks at least four to six seconds of space in wet conditions and at highway speeds.
• Call authorities if you see unsafe driving.
• Do not cut off a truck in traffic or on the highway to reach your exit or turn.
The trucking accident attorneys at the Christensen Law Firm encourage you to follow these tips when driving where commercial vehicles are present. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident call us today at 801-506-0800 to find out what options are available to you.