It is not secret that semi trucks pose a serious risk on the road. Whether it be fatal or an injury, semi truck accidents can be avoided with the proper steps. As such, understanding how to drive safely around a semi truck is crucial in order to maintain your safety.
Statistics on Semi Truck Accidents:
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles,
- In 2015, there were 222 fatal crashes involving Medium/Heavy Trucks (10,000 pounds or more). During that same year, 5.23% of all Medium/Heavy Truck crashes were fatal, and 4,812 resulted in injuries.
- In 2015, there were 27 fatal crashes involving Light Trucks (10,000 pounds or less). During that same year, 0.64% of all Light Truck crashes were fatal and 2,599 resulted in injuries.
Steps to Drive Around Semi Trucks Safely:
- Keep a Good Distance. Many accidents occur because drivers do not keep a safe distance from semi trucks. As a result, drivers get to close and when a truck brakes, it is too late for the driver to avoid an accident.
- Stay out of Blind Spots. Because semi trucks are high off the ground, their drivers have different blind spots referred to as “no zones.” In order to avoid an accident, you should stay out of these “no zones,” because the semi truck driver may make a turn or change lanes without seeing you.
- Change Lanes Properly. When changing a lane, always signal. Accidents can occur when a driver improperly changes a lane, or cuts a semi truck off. When you signal, the semi truck driver knows that you are about to change lanes and will allow you to do so.
- Watch out for Wide Turns. Semi trucks are massive, even the “light” or “small” semi trucks are big. These trucks are notorious for their wide turns. As a driver, you must be cautious of these wide turns. If you are at a light, be sure to give the semi truck enough room to turn so they don’t hit your side or bumper.
- Allow Semi Trucks to Pass. There are no heroes on the road. If a semi truck is signaling to pass or change lanes, let them do so. Do not try to speed up or cut them off. If you do so, you may end up in their blind spots and ultimately end up in a dangerous situation that could lead to an accident. Avoid all of this by allowing them to pass.
- Don’t Take the Risk. If you see a potential risk, do not take it. Many times, a driver may try to squeeze through a lane in order to pass a semi truck. Avoid this at all costs. First, the lane may be too tight and the semi truck may hit you. Second, you may end up in the truck’s “no zone,” which could lead to a crash.
- Don’t be Distracted. In 2015, 3,477 people were killed and over 390,000 people were injured due to accidents directly linked to distracted driving. Distracted driving includes texting, talking, eating, watching a video, and reading. When you’re on the road, it is imperative to stay focused, especially near a semi truck.
- Stay Sober. In Florida, the saying goes, “stay sober, or get pulled over.” This catchphrase cannot be stressed enough, because drunk driving or driving under the influence leads to accidents. If you end up driving drunk, your chances of crashing into a semi truck increase exponentially. Staying sober is the way to go to avoid a DUI and an accident.
What to do if you are Involved in a Semi Truck Accident:
The first thing to do after an accident is to call the police. Make sure everyone receives proper medical attention and a report is filled out. After everyone is safe, be sure to hire an experienced truck accident attorney. At Brooks Law Group, our lawyers are trained to assist your semi truck accident needs to your satisfaction. We have years of experience in trucking accidents. Our track record highlights our success; we have recovered millions of dollars in claims for victims of semi truck accidents.