If you frequently drive on the highway, it is no secret that there are tractor trailer trucks everywhere. These trucks fulfill an important function in our society, supplying our grocery stores, stocking our favorite retailer, and delivering our online orders. However, this huge increase in shipping has a very human price. Tractor trailer truck accidents are all too frequent and, due to the sheer size and speed of tractor trailers on the highway, can lead to devastating and sometimes fatal results. Here are a few tips you can use to avoid being involved in a tractor trailer truck accident:
- Drive Defensively: You probably remember this from high school driver’s education, but it remains good advice. It is always safest to assume that other motorists are not paying attention, that they are terrible drivers, and that it is completely up to you to make it to your destination in one piece. Although this not strictly true, that advice will prevent you from making dangerous assumptions, such as that your fellow motorists are monitoring their side and rearview mirrors, that they are noticing speed limit change signs, or, in the case of tractor trailers, that they are monitoring the spaces around them before making wide right turns. There are plenty of opportunities in life to trust your fellow humans, but highway driving is not one of them.
- Follow the Rules of the Road: You should assume that other motorists are going to break every rule in the book, but you need to hold yourself to the highest standard of safety. The best way to do this is to follow all traffic rules, including speed limits. It is easy to let your speedometer creep up, particularly on the highway. However, speed is the number one factor in the severity of a crash. Going even ten miles an hour faster will only make a small difference in your driving time, but it can make a world of difference in the severity of your injuries should you be involved in a crash. This is especially important for driving in traffic with lots of big trucks. If you are going much faster than the speed limit, a truck driver may not see you approaching and may attempt a merge into your lane. Because it takes big trucks much longer to correct course, an accident can easily happen.
- Use Common Sense: Keep your eyes on the road, not on your cell phone. Do not play your music too loudly. Make sure that if you are eating a meal in the car that you are doing so carefully in such a way that you have both hands on the wheel most of the time. Do not take unnecessary risks by passing on the right, particularly with big trucks who have limited visibility. EVeryone knows how terrible it can feel to be stuck being two trucks riding side by side on a highway, but resist the urge to zoom past the second an opportunity appears. Be patient and do not let your frustration put in you in a dangerous situation.
Even using our best efforts, sometimes accidents happen. If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident involving a tractor trailer truck, consider reaching out to an attorney. An experienced Harrisonburg, VA truck accident lawyer can evaluate your case and may be able to help you get the monetary compensation you need to get back on your feet.
Call MartinWren, P.C. for more insight into truck safety and accidents.