Every year in Alabama, there are thousands of large trucks involved in collisions. Tragically, many of these wrecks – more than 100 per year on average – are fatal. Those collisions that are not fatal often leave vehicle occupants with serious injuries, some of which are life-changing.
Unfortunately, you cannot depend on the truck drivers to keep you safe. In fact, they are often overworked, pushed by their companies to drive further and longer and with heavier loads than the law even allows. As you navigate Alabama’s roadways, here are some tips for avoiding an accident with a big rig and staying safe:
Keep Your Distance
Perhaps the best way to avoid an accident with a big rig is to not get too close to them to begin with. You should keep as much distance between your vehicle and a large truck as possible.
If you do have to drive around large trucks (as will surely be inevitable at some point), remember that large trucks require much more room than smaller vehicles do when it comes to changing lanes, passing, and stopping. It’s especially important to remember that the required stopping distance for a large truck that is traveling at 65 miles per hour in good conditions is nearly two football fields’ worth of space. Allow large trucks the room that they need to maneuver the road safely.
Drive Sober and Focused
Regardless of where you are driving or the type or number of other vehicles on the road, you should always make driving sober and distraction-free a priority. When you are fatigued, distracted, or impaired by alcohol or drugs (including over-the-counter and prescription medications), you increase your risk of an accident. In addition to staying focused, remember to always make sure to buckle up, as doing so could save your life in the event that you are in a crash.
Never Drive in a Truck’s Blind Spots
All vehicles have blind spots, but the blind spots on trucks are especially large. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reminds drivers that large truck drivers have a hard time seeing anything that is 20 feet directly in front of their vehicles, 30 feet directly behind their vehicles, one lane to the left of their vehicles, and two lanes to the right of their vehicles. Here are some handy tips to keep in mind when you share the road with big trucks:
- Be alert to these zones and never drive in them.
- Never tailgate a large truck.
- Provide plenty of distance when lane-changing in front of a large truck.
- Always pass quickly.
Remember that Trucks Make Wide Turns
Drivers of passenger cars often get impatient when large trucks are turning in front of them, and may make the fatal error of attempting to pass a large truck while it is in the process of rounding a turn. Large trucks require more turning room than do smaller vehicles, and, as such, may turn from the middle or outside lane, and may swing wide in making the turn. While this can be frustrating for drivers of smaller vehicles who are in a hurry to get by, never attempt to pass a truck while it is turning. Attempting to pass a truck that is turning could result in a “squeeze-play” accident, which happens when a smaller vehicle becomes “squeezed” between the curb or another object and the body of the larger truck.
Exercise Basic Safe Driving Techniques
Driving around large trucks presents unique challenges and hazards, and passenger car drivers should be aware of the things like blind spots and the required stopping distance for larger vehicles. However, drivers should also exercise the basic safe driving techniques that are recommended every time a driver gets behind a wheel, such as always signaling before changing lanes and making your intentions clear, yielding when required, refraining from tailgating or cutting off another driver, maintaining a safe speed, and never driving aggressively.
Call Our Alabama Truck Accident Lawyers
Even when you act as safely as you possibly can when driving around a large truck, the actions of the truck driver or another driver, or unforeseeable circumstances, such as a tire blowout, can result in a devastating truck accident. If you are involved in a serious truck accident in Alabama, our truck accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Troy King can represent you in your claim for damages. Establishing liability and recovering your full damages award in a truck accident claim can be difficult; our lawyers help you to maximize your settlement and recover the damages you deserve. The companies that own and insure these trucks will often send experts to the scene to gather and preserve evidence that they hope will keep them from having to pay a claim oftentimes before you even leave the hospital. It is important that you have someone doing the same for you. And the sooner, the better!
To schedule your free consultation with our legal team, please call us today at 334-215-4440 or send us a message using the contact form on our website. You can visit our Montgomery location to speak to our lawyers, or we will come to you.