There are nearly nine million people working in truck-related jobs throughout the United States. About 3.5 million of them are truck drivers and together those truck drivers travel more than 288 billion miles each year. This helps us understand why there are so many big rigs on the road – and why big rig accidents are more common than they should be.
Last year there were 286,000 big rig crashes in the U.S., which caused 74,000 injuries. The state of California is the second most dangerous state to drive in, with more than 3,000 fatal traffic accidents per year, more than 230 of which involve big rigs. A big rig can weigh 30 times what a car weighs, which means that most of these fatalities happen to those in cars or smaller trucks.
If you have been injured in this type of accident then you should pursue your legal options. Likewise, if you have lost a loved one in a big rig accident, then it is time to contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation. There may be a number of parties you can hold accountable, including the driver, their employer, and even the manufacturer of the truck. In the meantime, read on to learn five ways a person can decrease their chances of being involved in one of these accidents.
- Stay out of the blind spot
- Do not change lanes quickly
- Never tailgate
- Keep your car in good condition
- Do not drive while tired, impaired, distracted, or intoxicated
Big rigs have very large blind spots. While never mirror configurations and technologies are often used to try and reduce the size of this blind spot, you should assume that if you cannot see your vehicle in the mirror of the big rig, then they cannot see. Never pass them on the right, as their vision is even more restricted on the right than the left side.
Due to the fact that trucks weight so much, they have much slower response times compared to cars. As a result, you must be careful not to make abrupt lane changes or to brake suddenly. Do not assume that a big rig can change its speed, direction, or lane to avoid you – you must avoid it.
It is never a good idea to tailgate because it does not give you enough time or room to stop if the truck hits the breaks abruptly. However, it is even more dangerous with a big rig because they cannot see vehicles that are right on their bumper.
If a truck is not properly maintained or if it does not have quality parts, then the driver can be held accountable in an accident. The same is true of your car. Get tune ups and oil changes as your manufacturer recommends.
If you are not well rested, if you have a medical issue that prevents safe driving, if you are talking on the phone, or if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, do not get behind the wheel.