Avoid Truck Accidents: Tips for Defensive Driving

Data released recently revealed that tractor-trailer crashes account for a large number of deaths annually. Hence, it is becoming increasingly essential to exercise caution when driving trucks. Note that central to comprehending defensive semi-truck driving is an outstanding appreciation of the risks and dangers these huge vehicles present.

Road safety professionals from both the private sector and the government agree that defensive driving is often underrated. It remains to be the easiest and most effective way of preventing accidents that result in bodily injuries and property damage. While these professionals and Disney World accident attorneys concede to the fact that some auto accidents are unavoidable, here are some of the ways that drivers can prevent truck accidents from happening.

Understand truck vehicles and their drivers

These vehicles are by nature big and somehow cumbersome beasts of burden. It is challenging for drivers to control them, they are slow to start and sometimes might require a longer stopping distance. Besides, semi-trucks are more vulnerable to rain or snow, especially at night.

Generally, an average tractor-trailer can weight five to 40 metric tons and sometimes more as some companies enjoy violating the federal road safety standards. That means a commercial truck can outweigh your car by 25 times or more. Another risk factor arising from these huge vehicles is the human component. In four out of every 5 collisions involving trucks, the truck driver is to blame. This is because sometimes these drivers are made to control these behemoths under poor working conditions which even when they are battling with fatigue.

Keep in mind that trucking is still a business and it is not uncommon for drivers and their specific dispatchers to carry two different sets of books. The first book is where all the hours worked and miles covered are recorded in accordance with the statutory requirements. The other book is where they submit to law enforcement authorities for regular inspection.

Due to the big incentive to push the limits, truck drivers are often fatigued and tired or even very bored. To chase the blues away, they tend to talk on their phones, read papers, stay on the radio, or opt for other forms of entertainment while on the road. Generally, distracted driving is one of the things that puts them, the entire vehicle (plus cargo), and other commuters that share the same road at a big risk.

Other defensive driving tips

It is worth mentioning that defensive driving is always a function of understanding your surroundings and the other drivers using the same road. Here are more tips to help you exercise defensive driving.

  • Be wary of large trucks and always pay attention while driving.
  • Avoid road rage.
  • Always be visible and account for the truck’s blind spots.
  • Always be careful especially when driving under poor weather conditions.
  • Learn to expect the unexpected and make the right choices within a short time.
  • In case of an emergency, remove your vehicle from the road.

Truck accidents are catastrophic, and it is better to avoid them rather than handling their consequences. Always practice defensive driving for your safety.

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Clare Louise

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