Increasing awareness of tractor-trailers can decrease trucking accident risk

truck2Tractor trailers are a common sight in Nevada and throughout the United States. Along with buses and other commercial motor vehicles, they play an invaluable role in the nation’s economy by transporting billions of pounds of food, products and raw materials around the nation each year.

As can be expected, the prevalence of tractor trailers on the roadways leads to a significant number of accidents each year. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that large commercial vehicles, including trucks, were involved in around 286,000 accidents that caused 74,000 injuries and over 3,000 deaths in 2009. Drivers of non-commercial vehicles can help decrease these accidents by increasing their own awareness of tractor trailers and taking the following precautions:

Know the “No-Zones”

No-zones are a truck’s large blind spots. They are located at the front, back, and sides of the truck, along with the connecting point between the truck and its trailer. Drivers can determine if they are in a truck’s blind spots by looking for the truck driver in their mirrors. If the truck driver is clearly visible to a motorist, then the truck driver can see the motorist as well.

Avoid squeezing

Trucks often need to swing wide to the left in order to safely perform a right turn. This is very common in urban areas. However, impatient drivers occasionally cut in between the truck and the curb, believing that they will be able to pass the truck and quickly move out of the way. When a motorist isn’t quick enough to get out of the truck’s blind spot, they can get squeezed between the truck and the curb, resulting in a trucking accident. Drivers can avoid this by patiently following a truck when it turns.

Give them space

Many motorists do not realize the fundamental differences in cars and large commercial motor vehicles. An 80,000 pound tractor trailer traveling at 65 miles per hour requires the entire length of a football field to come to a complete stop. That is 45 more feet than a regular car. Drivers should thus avoid abrupt lane changes around trucks, maintain a safe following distance of 20 to 25 car lengths behind the truck, and never swerve in front of a truck and slam on the brakes. 

Find representation

Tractor trailers are vehicles that should be respected on the roadways. However, motorists can do little to prevent an accident when the truck driver is at fault. When Las Vegas drivers experience serious injury due to a truck driver’s negligence, fatigue, or a truck’s defects, they can contact a personal injury attorney to begin the claims process and get on the road to recovery.