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Avoiding Trucking Accidents With Courtesy & Awareness

Every day, tractor trailers drive through Las Vegas either to deliver the products they are carrying or on their way to their next destination. According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, 1.1 percent of all traffic crashes in 2009 were truck accidents. While that does not seem like a large number, it equaled to 1,115 collisions.

The size and weight of a tractor trailer is no match for a passenger vehicle and when one of these big rigs is in a collision, it is fairly certain that someone is going to be seriously injured or killed. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that 67 percent of deaths from truck accidents are people in passenger vehicles and only 17 percent are people in the trucks.

Truck Driver Error & Company Negligence

In many cases, these types of collisions are found to be the fault of truck drivers themselves. Sometimes truckers are too tired to drive, engage in distractive behaviors or are operating their big rigs in a reckless manner. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has taken steps in the last few years to address distraction, encouraging drivers to avoid eating/drinking, smoking, reading a map or fixating on external objects.

Trucking companies are also not without their culpability in these types of collisions. Poor quality control, weak policies and bad management contribute to problems with the trucks themselves. These trucks may have been loaded improperly which can affect the handling of the transport. Lack of maintenance on the trucks, themselves, has also been determined as a factor.

Passenger Vehicle Safety

While truckers and trucking companies can do more to make the roads safe, there are also things that drivers can do to reduce their risk of being involved in an accident that could leave them permanently disabled. These things include the following:

  • Allow trucks plenty of room to make right turns – don’t try to squeeze between a gap.
  • Don’t ride in a truck’s blind spots – these are significantly larger and are located directly in front of the semi, just behind the driver on the left side, behind the trailer and on the right side of the cab.
  • Avoid cutting in front of a semi – semis take up to two football field lengths to stop and if a vehicle has to brake, it is going to get hit.
  • Give trucks the go-ahead to shift lanes or merge onto the road – drivers can indicate their willingness by flashing their headlights to help truckers out.
  • Put away anything that can be a distraction – drivers who are distracted by their phone or other things can miss visual cues from trucks.

Furthermore, drivers should also keep their distance from tractor trailers on an incline. Semis can drift backwards as truckers shift gears and tend to driver slower in order to build momentum.

By increasing their awareness of truckers and tractor trailers, drivers can keep themselves and others safe. When people are injured in a collision, they should consider their options by speaking with an experienced attorney.

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