Large commercial trucks are involved in thousands of
accidents on this nation’s roads each year. Even though these 18-wheelers and
big rigs help fuel this country’s economy, they continue to pose a serious
threat to other drivers on the roadway.
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a
commercial truck, you might have the right to recover damages, but obviously it
is much better to avoid these crashes altogether. Here is why these accidents
can be so catastrophic and a list of the best ways to avoid a crash with a big
Why Do Large Trucks Pose a Danger?
A big rig can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, so your
passenger car will be no match for one of these trucks in a crash. You are
essentially putting a 40-ton truck up against a 2-ton car, so your vehicle
damage is probably going to be total, but the bodily injuries could also be
severe and even permanent.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway
in truck-involved multi-vehicle crashes, 97% of the fatalities were passenger
vehicle occupants. Commercial trucks also account for 21% of all motor vehicle
crash deaths in the U.S.
Large truck accidents create some dangerous
scenarios for passenger vehicles. Depending on how the crash occurs, there can
be an underride or override effect with one of these collisions. When your car
either slides under a big rig or has a truck run over the top of them, this can
How to Avoid Accidents with a Big Rig
Since you can’t avoid sharing the roadway with
18-wheelers and big rigs, it makes sense to use as much caution as possible in
their presence. Here are some tips for avoiding a crash with a tractor-trailer:
1. Keep Size in Mind
We already outlined how much bigger an 18-wheeler is
compared to a passenger car. What many motorists don’t realize is that these
massive vehicles also have limited maneuverability. Specifically, it takes them
much longer to slow down or stop than your sedan or SUV. If you cut in front of
them, cut them off, or follow too closely, this increases the likelihood of a
2. Avoid the Blind Spots
Large trucks have more and larger blind
spots than a passenger vehicle. These are called “no zones,” and there is one
located on all four sides of the truck. True to the name, you’d be best served
to stay out of these areas because the truck driver can’t see you.
For a typical tractor-trailer, there is a 20-foot blind
spot in front of the truck, and a 30-foot one behind it. There is also a blind
spot of one lane to the left/rear of the driver’s mirror and a blind spot of
two lanes to the right/rear of the passenger mirror. If you are traveling or
passing, keep clear of these areas as much as possible.
3. Follow the Rules of the Road
It’s a lot easier to avoid crashes when drivers are
behaving predictably and following the law. So, obey the rules of the road by
maintaining a safe speed, following signals, and only passing on the left.
4. Use Caution in Hazardous Conditions
Commercial trucks are more likely to have trouble in
dangerous conditions than cars and they also commonly send debris, mud, and
snow flying, which can create an additional hazard. When the weather is bad,
give these trucks even more space than normal.
5. Be Mindful in Passing Situations
Now that you understand about blind spots, you can be
more mindful when passing an 18-wheeler. But it’s also important that you never
attempt to pass a tractor-trailer that is turning. These trucks must make wide
turns, so be sure you know their intentions before proceeding.
Speak with a Qualified Montgomery Truck Accident
Even if you do everything right, there is always the
possibility that you could be involved in an accident with a commercial
vehicle. These accidents can occur due to truck driver negligence, faulty
parts, aggressive trucking company practices, or a variety of other factors. If
you were not at fault in the accident, you may be able eligible for
compensation for your injuries and property damage sustained.
At Reeves and Mestayer, our experienced truck accident
attorneys have helped numerous victims of devastating truck crashes recover
damages from negligent parties. Through our strong legal advocacy, independent
accident investigations, and aggressive pursuit of justice, our goal is to
secure the maximum compensation in your personal injury case.
our office today at (228) 374-5151 or toll free at (855) 558-2977 to schedule a
free consultation. You may also message us through our online contact form.