Have you ever been traveling down Interstate 10 or Interstate 35 and felt nervous when a large truck was in your proximity? Perhaps you were worried about being rear-ended by a big rig or sideswiped while passing one.
The unease you feel around large trucks is also felt by many other drivers, and for legitimate reasons. Truckers who drive negligently often endanger other drivers on the road.
How do truck drivers endanger other drivers?
According to a recent study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), many drivers regularly witness or experience the effects of erratic truck driving.
The study – which was commissioned by Verizon Connect and Wakefield Research – surveyed more than 1,000 adult drivers across the United States.
Roughly 83 percent of survey respondents believed that they are generally safer than most truck drivers. In addition:
- 81% of respondents said they witnessed truck drivers engaging in dangerous behavior, including:
- Speeding – 69%
- Abrupt lane changes – 55%
- Reckless driving – 46%
- Turning too fast – 37%
- 54% said they witnessed crashes involving large trucks
What can drivers do to stay safe?
Due to their size and weight, large trucks require more time and distance to stop. In addition, their blind spots are much larger than that of a smaller vehicle, and maneuvering large trucks requires a great deal of training and experience.
To lower the crash risk, FMCSA offers these safety tips when driving around large trucks:
- Stay out of blind spots: When passing a large truck be cautious of the blind spots. If you can’t see the driver in the side mirror, the driver likely can’t see you. Drivers can stay safe by not driving alongside or directly behind the trailer of a truck.
- Anticipate wide turns: Trucks need more room when making turns at intersections. In some cases, a turn may require more than one lane. It’s important to stay back and give the truck enough room to pass and avoid squeezing between the turning truck and the curb.
- Always remain focused and patient: Large trucks accelerate at a different speed than smaller vehicles. It’s important to be patient and avoid engaging in aggressive driving.
If you notice a truck driver behaving erratically, driving distracted, or appearing impaired or drowsy, it’s best to keep your distance. In the event of a crash, get immediate medical attention and take prompt legal action.
- Investigating your crash
- Obtaining a detailed police report
- Speaking with your doctor
- Speaking to witnesses
- Gathering and presenting evidence of negligence against the truck driver and his or her company
Don’t hesitate to get started on your claim. Contact us online and set up your free case evaluation with our legal team.