According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System of the U.S. DoT, there were 3,986 large truck crash fatalities in 2016. Approximately 66 percent of the fatalities were passenger vehicle occupants compared to 17 percent who were truckers. One expert has said that 70 percent of all collisions between a large truck and a passenger vehicle are the fault of the passenger vehicle driver. This is why it’s important to know how to act around commercial trucks.
One thing that drivers should never do is tailgate a truck. It’s important to maintain at least 500 feet behind a truck; this gives drivers more time to react to the unexpected. Drivers should also try to stay one fourth to one half of a mile ahead of a truck in their lane. They can then act accordingly if they notice brake lights or vehicle emergency lights in the distance.
It’s essential to be aware of other drivers. One can tell that something is wrong if someone, for example, drifts in and out of a lane. Being aware means being free of all distractions, especially smartphones.
Lastly, drivers need to take road conditions and weather into account. It’s important to anticipate the presence of debris in construction zones and watch for oil spills and rough stretches. Everyone should drive slowly in rain, snow and fog. If it’s snowing or raining heavily, drivers should pull over and wait it out.
There are times when truckers can cause an accident: For instance, they could overwork themselves and drive drowsy, or they could be on their phone. Victims of trucker negligence may want to see an attorney who works in truck accident law. They might build up a personal injury claim with the help of the lawyer’s network of investigators, medical experts and other third parties. The lawyer may then negotiate for a settlement out of court, litigating as a last resort.