How Passenger Vehicle Drivers Can Help Prevent Truck Accidents
According to statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,964 fatal injuries occurred due to big rig truck accidents in 2013.  Between 2009 and 2013, 371 individuals died in truck accidents throughout Nevada.
An additional 2,771 persons sustained serious injuries. Without a doubt, driving near these large vehicles pose serious risks if truck drivers and the drivers of passenger vehicles are not careful. As a result, commercial truck drivers and drivers of all other vehicles must work together to create safer roads.
In an article published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, one big rig driver states it is important for regular drivers to understand the maneuvers truck drivers make and the various blind spots that exist for truck drivers.
He adds that the majority of the near-accidents he has seen occur when truckers make right-hand turns at an intersection. Because most drivers only see these big rigs as obstacles, many drivers will try to use the right lane to squeeze around the trucks. Of course, this increases the risks of a semi-truck accident.
Tips for Driving Near Big-Rig Trucks
According to the CEO of the Nevada Trucking Association, close to 80% of all collisions involving trucks are caused by the other vehicles involved. To prevent these types of accidents from occurring, passenger vehicle drivers should consider the following helpful tips our Las Vegas truck accident lawyers have listed below:
- When passing a semi-truck, pass quickly to avoid staying in the truck driver’s blind spot.
- Avoid cutting off a truck driver.
- Assume that if you cannot see the truck mirrors, the driver cannot see you.
- Avoid passing a truck on the right as much as possible.
- Do not follow too closely to a big rig truck.
Pass Quickly to Reduce the Time Spent in the Truck Driver’s Blind Spots
Passing a truck on the road can be an intimidating experience for many drivers, but understanding how to do it safely can go a long way in preventing truck accidents. One of the key things to keep in mind when passing a truck is to do it quickly and efficiently.
Staying in the truck driver’s blind spots, or areas where the driver has limited visibility, can be highly dangerous and increase the risk of a collision. These blind spots include the area directly behind the truck, as well as the areas on either side of the truck extending back toward the end of the trailer.
Drivers must be aware that these blind spots can be much larger than they might expect, so it’s essential to pass quickly to avoid lingering in them.
Once you are ready to pass, make your move decisively and maintain a steady speed until you can comfortably return to your lane and put some distance between yourself and the truck. By keeping this in mind, you can help to ensure safe driving and a less stressful experience when driving alongside large commercial trucks on the road.
It Is Recommended to Avoid Merging in Front of Trucks When Driving
When driving on the road with larger commercial trucks, it is crucial to be extra cautious, especially when merging in front of them. One of the essential safety tips for avoiding truck crashes is to avoid merging in front of trucks whenever possible.
Commercial trucks have a much longer stopping distance than passenger vehicles. Fully loaded, an 80,000-pound truck is going to be difficult to stop. If a driver merges too quickly in front of a truck, they risk reducing the truck’s stopping distance, which can potentially lead to a catastrophic accident.
It’s also important to note that even if a truck driver is paying close attention to traffic, the sudden appearance of a passenger vehicle in front of them can be challenging to avoid.
If you must merge in front of a truck, ensure you have plenty of space and time to do so safely, and signal as soon as possible to give the commercial driver plenty of notice. By following this simple rule, you can help reduce the likelihood of an accident and keep yourself and those traveling with you safe and secure on the road.
If the Truck Mirrors Are Not Visible, It Is Likely The Driver Cannot See You
If you’re driving on the road alongside a large commercial truck, it’s essential to be mindful of the truck’s blind spots and visibility. One of the key things to keep in mind is that if you can’t see the truck’s mirrors, it’s likely the driver can’t see you, either.
This is because commercial trucks have much larger blind spots than passenger vehicles and require extra space on the road. The areas behind, in front, and on either side of a truck are all potential blind spots, so it’s important to be hyper-aware if you’re driving alongside a truck.
Given the massive size and weight of commercial vehicles, drivers must give them plenty of space and avoid tailgating or hovering in areas where the driver may not be able to see them. This can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and increase safety on the road for all drivers.
If you find yourself in a spot where you can’t see the truck’s mirrors, and it’s likely the driver can’t see you, either, take action immediately.
Slow down or change lanes if possible and avoid lingering in that blind spot. By being mindful of your surroundings and sensitive to the truck driver’s perspective, you can help keep the roads safer for everyone.
Avoid Passing a Truck on the Right
One of the crucial safety tips to follow when driving alongside larger commercial trucks is to avoid passing on the right as much as possible.
There are several reasons for this. Commercial trucks frequently have larger blind spots on the passenger side, which can make it challenging for truck drivers to see the average passenger vehicle passing them on the right.
This can increase the risk of accidents, particularly if drivers are not careful to give the truck enough space or if they aren’t aware of the truck driver’s perspective. Passing on the right can also be dangerous because it exposes drivers to the risk of getting caught in situations where the truck might need to make a sudden turn or change lanes.
If this happens, the passenger vehicle can get trapped between the truck and the road’s curb, which can result in catastrophic injuries. Finally, passing on the right can be illegal in some situations, depending on the road and local traffic laws.
Therefore, drivers must be extra cautious when driving near commercial trucks and avoid passing on the right whenever possible. If you need to pass a truck, always do so carefully, signal your intent early and check for any potential blind spots. By following this simple rule, you can help reduce the risk of commercial vehicle accidents and increase safety on the road.
Don’t Follow Trucks Closely
One of the critical safety tips for driving on the road with commercial trucks is never to follow them too closely. Heavy trucks have a much longer stopping distance than passenger vehicles. So, if you’re driving too close to the truck, you risk rear-ending them in the case of a sudden stop or emergency braking.
Following the trucks closely is also dangerous because of debris and cargo that might fall off the truck. Commercial trucks carry many tons of products and materials, and if something falls off the truck and hits your car, it could result in severe injury or even death so use extra caution.
Tailgating trucks can expose you to their large blind spots, leaving you vulnerable to trucking accidents or collisions if they make any sudden lane changes. It’s essential to keep a safe distance from the truck on the road. The general rule of thumb is to give at least five to six seconds of stopping distance between you and the truck.
This will give you enough space to brake in case of an emergency and avoid any obstacles or debris in your path. By following this simple rule, you can help reduce the risk of accidents and keep the roads safer for everyone. Remember, when driving on the road with commercial trucks, safety should always be your top priority.
Shook & Stone Cares About Your Safety
If you have been involved in a truck accident and believe the truck driver or another passenger vehicle driver should be held responsible, contact our Las Vegas truck accident attorneys at Shook & Stone right away. We can examine your case and determine who should be held liable for your injuries, medical expenses, and emotional damages. Our firm’s personal injury attorneys believe that every accident victim reserves the right to obtain affordable representation, and that is why we handle each case on a contingency fee basis. This means you will not pay a single penny unless we recover compensation for you.
To discuss your case, call Shook & Stone today! We are dedicated to putting relentless representation on your side!
 Traffic Safety Facts. (2015, June). NHTSA. Retrieved June 22, 2023, from https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812150
Are Semi Trucks Safe?
Semi-trucks, like any other vehicle, can be safe if properly operated and maintained. However, there are certain factors that make them more prone to accidents and collisions. For example, their size and weight can make it difficult for them to maneuver and stop quickly in emergency situations.
Truck driver fatigue and distraction can also contribute to accidents. Despite these risks, there are trucking regulations and safety measures in place to minimize the likelihood of accidents and ensure that drivers and other road users remain safe.
These include regular vehicle inspections, mandatory rest periods for truck drivers, and strict adherence to traffic laws. Overall, while semi-trucks may present some risks, they can be operated safely and with proper precautions.
What Causes a Runaway Truck?
A runaway truck occurs when the truck loses control due to various mechanical or human error-related issues. Often, it is caused by defective brakes, which can occur due to brake lining wear, overheating, or insufficient brake adjustment.
Another cause that can lead to a runaway truck is a failed transmission. In some cases, driver error, such as speeding or failing to shift gears properly, can also contribute to a runaway truck. Additionally, heavy loads, steep grades, or a lack of designated runaway truck ramps can further exacerbate the problem.
It is important for commercial vehicle operators to take safety precautions while driving and to ensure proper maintenance of their vehicles to prevent these incidents from occurring.
What Is the Stopping Distance for a Truck?
The length of time it takes to stop a truck depends on multiple factors. The size and weight of the truck, speed, road conditions, and braking system all play a role in the stopping distance. On average, it takes a loaded semi-truck traveling at 65 mph approximately 525 feet to come to a complete stop.
This distance is much greater than that of a car, which typically takes around 316 feet to stop at the same speed.
Therefore, it’s important for truck drivers to practice defensive driving techniques, maintain a safe speed, and leave plenty of space between themselves and other vehicles to ensure safe stopping distances.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
There are numerous factors that can contribute to truck accidents. One major factor is driver fatigue, as many truck drivers are under pressure to meet tight deadlines and may not get enough rest. Distracted driving is a common cause of accidents, as truck drivers may be tempted to use their cell phones or other devices while on the road.
Inclement weather conditions, such as snow, rain, or fog, can also increase the likelihood of accidents.
Poorly maintained trucks or improperly loaded cargo can lead to equipment malfunctions or loss of control of the vehicle. Reckless driving behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, and driving under the influence can all contribute to truck accidents.
How Can Truck Accidents Be Prevented?
Truck accidents can be prevented through various measures. One way is through proper training and certification for truck drivers, which can help ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to operate their vehicles safely.
Trucking companies can also implement strict regulations and protocols for their drivers, including mandatory rest periods and vehicle maintenance checks.
Technologies such as collision warning systems, lane departure warnings, and automatic braking can be installed in trucks to help prevent semi-truck accidents.
Other drivers on the road can play a role in preventing truck accidents by maintaining a safe distance from commercial vehicles, avoiding blind spots, and being aware of the limitations of large trucks.