Every year, there are about 4,000 people who die during truck accidents.
And the majority of those people are not the truck drivers who are behind the wheel during the accidents. Rather, it’s those traveling in much smaller cars and trucks who typically bear the brunt of semi truck accidents. About 70 percent of the people killed in these accidents on an annual basis are the occupants of cars, trucks, and SUVs.
If you want to dramatically reduce your chances of becoming a part of this statistic, there are steps you can take to help prevent truck accidents. Take a look at 8 things you can do to avoid playing a part in a truck accident below.
1. Stay Out of the Blind Spots of Trucks
There are blind spots in just about every vehicle. But as you might imagine, there are more blind spots for someone driving a truck than for those who drive passenger vehicles.
If you’re driving behind a truck or off to either side of one, there’s a good chance that the person driving that truck can’t see you. Do your best to stay out of a truck driver’s blind spots.
2. Give Trucks Their Space
When you’re driving a car and you want to either stop or switch from one lane to another, you can usually do it at a moment’s notice. It’s no problem to make a sudden movement in a car.
But the same cannot be said for trucks. A trucker needs to have more than enough time to come to a complete stop or switch lanes.
Therefore, you need to give trucks their space so that they don’t ever have to make a sudden move. If you pull in front of a truck and don’t give it enough room, you could be asking for it to rear-end you in the event that you need to brake without warning.
Never crowd a truck on any of its four sides. It could be a recipe for disaster.
3. Pass Trucks Quickly and Carefully
Truck drivers tend to drive a lot slower than most of the other vehicles on the road. So there may come a time when you want to pass a truck and continue on along your way.
When doing this, it’s important for you to pass a truck as quickly and carefully as you can. If you don’t have a clear path to get around a truck, it’s best to hang back and wait for an opportunity to open up.
The last thing you want to do is get stuck on the side of a truck with another car in front of you blocking your path. Something as simple as a strong wind could cause you to get into an accident with the truck when you’re on the side of it for too long.
4. Use Your Signals Around Trucks
You should really get yourself into the habit of using your signals around all vehicles. It’ll let other drivers know what you’re doing and prevent you from getting into an accident.
But be especially mindful about letting truck drivers what you’re doing out on the road. Put on your signals well ahead of time when maneuvering through traffic so that truckers know exactly what you’re doing.
This will allow truckers to make the necessary adjustments to avoid hitting you. As long as your signals are on, you won’t surprise them when you pull in front of them or go around them.
5. Take Caution When Merging With Trucks
There are some drivers who start freaking out when they realize that they need to merge with a truck. Don’t do that. You could potentially confuse a truck driver when you aren’t clear about what you’re going to do during a situation that calls for you to merge.
However, you can take caution and allow a truck driver to have the right-of-way in certain instances to avoid an accident.
Whatever you do, make sure you’re decisive and don’t freeze up when you’re merging with trucks. It’ll make merging that much easier on everyone else when you maintain your cool.
6. Shut Off Your High Beams When Behind Trucks
There’s almost nothing people hate more than driving in front of someone who has their high beams on. It can be very distracting and irritating.
But for truck drivers, it can prove to be fatal. Your high beams could hit a trucker’s rear-view mirror and temporarily blind them.
You might not think your high beams will have much of an effect on a trucker. But the truth is that they could do more damage than you think if you don’t shut them off.
7. Keep Your Eyes on the Road at All Times
US Attorneys reports that the number of truck accidents has gone up by about 10 percent over the last 25 years.
There are a variety of reasons for it. But there’s no doubt that at least some of the more recent truck accidents have been caused by distracted drivers.
These days, drivers get distracted by everything from their smartphones and their satellite radios to their GPS devices and their fellow passengers. Limit your distractions and keep your eyes on the road at all times, and you won’t have to worry as much about being involved in a truck accident.
8. Contact Police If You See a Trucker Driving Erratically
Most truckers are extremely careful out on the road. They know the potential dangers associated with truck accidents and do everything in their power to steer clear of them.
But there may be times when you see a truck driver driving erratically and exhibiting road rage. There may also be times when a trucker starts to nod off behind the wheel and temporarily loses control of their truck.
If you see this happening, don’t hesitate to contact the police. They can find a trucker and pull them over to see what the situation is.
Do Your Part to Prevent Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can be devastating, both for those involved in them and those who are forced to witness them.
Use the tips listed here to prevent yourself from ever being involved in a truck accident. Doing something as small as turning on a signal could save your life and the lives of those around you.
Read our blog for more tips on staying safe in your vehicle.