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Tips for Avoiding Trucking Accidents
Washington, DC, Maryland & Virginia Injury Attorneys
Size, weight, and high speeds all contribute to the causes and severity of trucking accidents. Drivers of passenger vehicles can sometimes avoid collisions with trucks by understanding how they occur, and knowing how to recognize the signs of a trucking accident in its early stages.
One way to avoid colliding with a commercial truck is to stay out of it blind spots. Experienced truck drivers, and those with proper training, know how to anticipate when another vehicle may have entered a blind spot and the correct procedures to avoid a collision, even though they cannot see all of the perimeters of the truck. They have a responsibility to take the necessary precautions to avoid an accident.
You, however, have no way of knowing if the truck driver has the skills and know-how to avoid vehicles they cannot see, or if the driver is intoxicated or suffering from fatigue. The safest thing to do is stay out of blind spots whenever possible.
Long trucks have to make wide turns, often taking up two lanes of traffic. To do this they typically swing out to the left before making a right hand turn. This leaves an opening to the right of the truck. When a car pulls into that opening, it cannot be seen by the truck driver and can easily be crushed by the truck as it makes its turn. Truck drivers have a responsibility to signal and look out for other cars. Some fail to do either and sometimes turn signals are not working. If you see a truck swing wide and leave and open space, don't rush in, even in heavy traffic.
Most people are familiar with jackknifing. It's what happens when the cab and trailer fold in on each other as the trailer tries to pass the cab. Many things can cause a truck to jackknife including:
- Brake malfunction
- Sudden braking
- Sudden turning
- Slippery roads
- Uneven road surfaces
- Impact to the truck
Jackknifing often progresses into a deadly rollover accident, and can easily involve multiple lanes of traffic and multiple vehicles. There is little or nothing that you, as the driver of a passenger vehicle, can do to stop or prevent jackknifing. The best you can do is be on the lookout for the signs that jackknifing is about to occur, and keep your distance.
The weight and momentum of a commercial truck means that it needs much greater stopping distance that a passenger vehicle. Failure to allow adequate stopping distance can result in a rear end collision or jackknifing. Always allow more space between your car and the front of a commercial truck than you would a passenger vehicle when passing, even in heavy traffic.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a tractor-trailer truck accident in Maryland, Virginia or Washington DC, please email or call our experienced truck accident lawyers today. Our injury attorneys are focused on obtaining justice for you - the victim.