Truck accidents are some of the most serious disasters on the road in Colorado. Every year, thousands of people lose their lives in fatal accidents involving large commercial trucks. Even if a victim survives a crash, the injuries involved can be catastrophic and life-changing. Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to truck accidents. Use these five strategies to decrease your risk of getting into a truck accident.
The No Zone refers to the exceptionally large blind spots associated with big rigs. Tractor-trailers and 18-wheelers have much larger blind spots than the average passenger car. As a motorist, you can improve your safety around large trucks by recognizing and avoiding the No-Zone. This zone – where you should avoid driving as much as possible – exists on all four sides of a truck.
A general rule of thumb is that if you can’t see the truck driver’s face in his or her rearview mirror, the truck driver can’t see you. A commercial truck has blind spots that extend 30 feet behind the trailer, 20 feet in front of the truck, one lane to the left side of the truck, and two lanes to the right side of the truck. Leave more space around a large truck than you normally would for other cars.
The longer you hover near a large truck, the more likely a truck accident becomes. While you should never speed, weave between lanes of traffic or break other roadway rules to avoid large trucks, you can protect yourself bypassing the truck as soon as is safely possible. Increase your speed to get around the truck without hovering next to it for longer than is necessary. When there is enough space in front of the truck to pass safely, do so quickly. Never pass a large truck that is turning left or right, as trucks make wide turns and the driver may not see you.
Any time you find yourself driving in front of a large truck, leave ample distance between your two vehicles and avoid slamming on the brakes. Commercial trucks do not possess the same stopping power as smaller vehicles. This is especially true in wet or icy weather. The stopping distance on a heavy-duty truck is about 525 feet if the truck is traveling at 65 miles per hour and fully loaded – compared to approximately 316 feet for the average car. Never cut a truck driver off, as this can cause a serious rear-end truck accident or override collision.
Predictability is an important part of keeping yourself safe near commercial trucks. If you behave the way that a truck driver expects – such as by following roadway rules, paying attention to signs, and obeying the speed limit – the driver will be better able to predict where your vehicle is at any given moment. This can reduce the risk of truck accidents caused by a lack of visibility, blind spots, and unexpected motorist maneuvers.
Distracted driving kills. Allowing yourself to be distracted behind the wheel endangers lives – including your own. Driving distracted near a large truck is especially dangerous, as there are already many other hazards that increase the risk of a collision. Always dedicate your full attention to the road. Do not let a cell phone, passenger, radio, food, personal grooming, or a recent argument with a loved one distract you from the driving task.
Unfortunately, no amount of safe driving can protect you from the careless or reckless acts of other drivers, including truck drivers. If you get injured in a truck accident in Thornton, call (303) 747-4404 to request a free consultation at Dormer Harpring, LLC. Our Denver accident attorneys can help you get through the claims process.