Drowsy And Distracted: Just How Safe Are Those Big Rig Drivers?

by Ladyblogger on August 21, 2013

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Drowsy And Distracted: Just How Safe Are Those Big Rig Drivers?

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, large trucks account for merely four percent of vehicles. Yet, 11 percent of all vehicle fatalities involve large trucks. Generally, over 5,000 people die in big rig crashes in which three-quarters were occupants of other vehicles involved.

Drowsiness And Driving

Sleepiness is one of the main factors that can contribute to hazardous truck operation. Since truck drivers are often under pressure to deliver loads in short time periods, many fail to get their required sleep on longer hauls. Many states require truckers to adhere to mandatory truck stops and check-ins so enforcement can look at their travel logs to determine if they are transporting safely and according to the law.

Safe Driving Tips

There are rules and regulations that every truck driver should follow to ensure the safety of themselves and others. It goes without saying that they should get proper sleep and take breaks to stay attentive. Perhaps scheduling needs to be addressed and adjusted with supervisors. Those who operate independently should use good common sense and judgment before driving any truck or semi.

Safe driving also means slowing down in work and congested zones and being watchful of other motorists. As noted by one truck accident lawyer in North Carolina, “Accidents involving trucks are frequently very serious and often more difficult to deal with than auto only accidents.” Also, the vehicle inspection reports should be reviewed so that any mechanical issues can be addressed before the truck is taken on the road.

Truckers And Motorists

Many accidents between commercial trucks and other vehicles can be avoided by following some safety guidelines, such as those outlined below:

1. Be extra aware whenever approaching a large truck since they behave very differently from other vehicles.

2. Avoid blind spots around large trucks. For instance, if the truck’s side mirrors are not visible, truck drivers cannot see your vehicle. At least one third of all large truck and vehicle accidents occur as a result of blind spots around the truck.

3. Do not pass trucks on the right when they are turning. Trucks need to swing wide to safely negotiate turns, since rear wheels follow shorter paths than front wheels.

4. Never cut in front of any vehicle, especially trucks since they require much more stopping distance. Forcing large vehicles to stop fast may result in an accident.

5. Use proper procedures to pass trucks and semis. Accelerate slightly and maintain consistent speeds. Wait until the entire cab can be seen in the rear view mirror prior to signaling and pulling in front of the truck.

6. Observe turn signals prior to passing trucks. If trucks appear to be making a left turn, check the direction of the driver signal prior to passing on the right.

7. Give trucks four to six seconds of space around the vehicle in wet or challenging conditions, particularly at highway speeds.

8. Never cut a truck off in traffic or on highways to reach exits or turns.

Also, call local authorities should you witness unsafe driving by any driver, including trucks.

While it is not possible to prevent all of the dangers of distracted and drowsy truck driving on highways, following the above tips can make it easier for some level of safety to prevail. If you or someone you know has been injured by a distracted truck driver, rather than settle with any insurance company, speak with a personal injury attorney who understands how the law works. They will know how to successfully manage your case.

Nadine Swayne forwards this information for the safety of fellow motorists. At Auger & Auger, you can find an experienced truck accident lawyer in North Carolina to help you with your case if you have been a victim of an accident involving a big rig truck. They are dedicated to providing quality legal representation to their clients.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76969036@N02/7553870574/

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