Safety Tips to Prevent Truck Accidents in Arkansas
Across the United States, there was an increase in the number of trucking accidents in 2016. That year alone, more than 119,000 trucking accidents occurred, causing injury to numerous passenger occupants. That same year the number of fatal trucking accidents also increased to 4,213. The vast majority of trucking accidents – 62% – involved two or more vehicles, and they occurred most often on rural highways and Interstates.
A fully loaded big rig can weigh up to 80,000 lbs., while the average passenger car weighs just 3,000 lbs. Due to the sheer size and weight discrepancy between large semi-trucks and passenger vehicles, these accidents are often catastrophic. Injuries are usually severe and life-threatening. Sadly, even when accident victims do recover, they are often left with some form of permanent disability or disfigurement.
Due to the complexities of these accidents, trucking accident victims need a law firm on their side from the start. These accidents must be handled swiftly and efficiently to ensure that accident victims receive the money they need to put their lives back together again and pay for medical expenses now – and in the future.
At Rainwater, Holt, & Sexton, our attorneys have successfully handled numerous trucking accident cases, and we have achieved favorable results for all our clients. While we realize that obtaining skilled legal representation from the moment you are injured is best, we also know that avoiding these accidents is even better.
Tips to Reduce the Likelihood of Trucking Accident
While not all accidents are preventable, there are safety tips that can help you reduce the likelihood of being involved in a serious and catastrophic trucking accident. Those safety tips include:
- Keep a safe distance – semi trucks are heavy and difficult to maneuver. When they need to stop suddenly, this can cause a disastrous chain reaction on the road. Keeping a safe distance will give you time to react in an emergency and help you avoid a collision. It will also help prevent damage to your vehicle if the truck has a sudden tire blowout or if they spill debris from their cargo bed.
- Don’t ride in blind spots – trucks have large blind spots on either side and behind them. If possible, never ride in these areas:
- The lane on the driver’s side going half of the trailer’s length
- 20 feet in front of the truck
- 30 feet behind the truck
- Two lanes wide on the right side of the truck
- Do not drive aggressively – speeding, changing lanes aggressively, and tailgating can all lead to deadly trucking accidents. Be cautious on the road and obey all the rules of the road. This will reduce the likelihood of getting into a serious trucking accident.
- Do not pass a truck going uphill or downhill – trucks are difficult to control when they are traveling downhill or uphill. They may naturally increase or decrease their speed and be unable to maneuver quickly—avoid passing a truck going uphill or downhill.
- Increase distance in poor weather – in poor weather conditions, such as fog, rain, snow or ice, be extra cautious and give large big rigs extra time to stop and maneuver out of danger.
- Give clear signals – whenever passing or changing lanes near a semi-truck, provide clear signals to let the truck driver know your intentions. Consider signaling sooner than you would for other motorists.
- Lower your bright lights – lower your high beams whenever you are near a truck. For commercial truck drivers, bright lights can result in an inability to see the road clearly and this can result in a disaster.
- Avoid distracted driving – distracted driving is a serious epidemic in this country and the cause of thousands of trucking accidents every year. Pay attention to the road and put your phone away.
Safety Tips When Driving Near Big Trucks
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are nearly 11 fatal truck accidents every day in the United States, resulting in 4,000 deaths annually. In addition, more than 100,000 people are injured every year as a result of truck crashes. With over 10 million trucks traveling American roads, it’s important to understand how to adjust your driving when in the company of commercial vehicles.
- Stay out of Blind Zones
Large trucks have large blind spots. If you can’t see the driver in their side mirrors, they probably can’t see you either. Assume that blind spots are 30 feet directly behind the truck, 20 feet in front of the truck and on both sides of the vehicle. If you find yourself in a truck’s blind spot, slow down or move ahead to stay visible – do not linger in a “no zone” where they can’t see you.
- Pass Safely and Don’t Cut In
Before passing a large truck, make sure you can see the driver in the mirror. Alert the driver that you’re passing by using your turn signal, move to the left lane and accelerate to get pass the vehicle promptly. Before pulling back in front of the truck, make sure they are visible in your rearview mirror. Don’t pass on a downgrade and never pass in the right lane. Trucks take 40 percent longer to stop, so don’t cut off a truck – they might not be able to slow quickly enough to avoid a collision.
- Anticipate Wide Turns
Trucks need extra turning room and swing wide or even start their turn from the middle lane to clear the curb. If a truck has its turn signal on, don’t try to squeeze by it or get between the truck and the curb.
We’re There When You Need Us
Being involved in a semi-truck accident is scary. With eight offices in Arkansas & Tennessee—Little Rock, Little Rock – Corporate Hill, Springdale, Jacksonville, Conway, Bryant, Hot Springs, and Memphis—our truck accident lawyers are easily accessible from the moment you are injured. Fill out a free contact request form, which only takes a minute, or simply dial (800) 767-4815 and tell us your story.