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Accidents happen but the impact can be serious when an incident involves a large truck.
In 2017, almost 5,000 Americans were killed in major truck accidents and tens of thousands more were wounded.
Heavy trucks handle differently than regular vehicles due to their massive scale and tremendous weight.
Big rigs and other big trucks typically need more time to start and stop and often take longer to accelerate.
If a big commercial vehicle meets with another car in a crash or accident, the consequences can be disastrous.
Due to the scale, weight and speed of large vehicles, victims of truck crashes have a much greater risk of experiencing serious injury or fatality.
Whether you're a trucker or a motorist, one of the safest ways to protect yourself from the catastrophic effects of truck crashes is to prevent them from occurring first. But first, what should you do if you are involved in a truck-related incident?
What To Do After a Truck Crash.
If you're involved in a truck accident, stay at the accident scene until assistance arrives. Leaving the scene could open up criminal charges even if you are not at fault.
Move over to the side of the road if you need to move your vehicle for safety reasons or because it is blocking traffic, and the vehicle is drivable.
Switch on your hazard lights to ensure that other drivers can see that there is a problem.
When you or someone else is hurt, call 911 for help immediately. Tend towards those who need first aid but do not move anybody who gets hurt unless the person is in imminent danger.
If you can, get the names of all people involved in the incident and the insurance details.
Note also the place and circumstances of the accident at the time of the incident, including weather conditions and time of day.
You'll need to seek legal advice in certain cases as soon as possible. Be sure to find an experienced Truck Accident Attorney Baton Rouge who specializes in truck accident lawsuits because truck accidents are usually more complicated than other vehicle accidents.
How to prevent a truck accident.
Defensive driving is a useful skill for any driver, but there are a few techniques that you should keep in mind specifically when you’re in the proximity of a large truck, whether on or off the highway.
Allow more space when driving behind a truck than you would with a small car.
A larger car restricts the view of what is ahead, like delayed or stopped traffic, construction, or other dangerous conditions of the road.
By leaving plenty of space between your vehicle and the truck in front of you, if you need to make a sudden stop or swerve, you have more time to respond.
Use caution when a truck is turning.
To turn a truck takes more clearance than a car.
So, if you have to judge the speed of a truck as it approaches an intersection, or how much space it needs to clear a turn, always allow more space, rather than less.
In fact, err on the side of caution and assume that the truck is moving faster than you can see and needs will take much of the intersection to make a turn.
Avoid distracted driving.
Highway driving can be long and boring. However, when driving, do not let yourself get too tired or distracted.
Before you move, schedule your trip and be sure to have good music, or whatever you want for entertainment that will not distract your driving.
Don't fiddle with your phone while driving, or even the car radio.
Wait until you get to a rest area, or find a convenient place to pull over if you need to change things up. If you start feeling tired, just take a break.
Give The Truck Enough Space.
Do not drive close to a truck for too long. Driving close to or past a truck puts you at a higher risk of an accident due to factors like:
Give plenty of space for the commercial truck when turning. Truck drivers are permitted to take up to two lanes while making wide turns.
Many collisions are just accidents. You can't avoid it all and even the most careful driver gets into scrapes.
But you can potentially escape a dangerous scenario by studying these truck accident-avoidance methods, and always use common sense and cautious driving techniques.