Research shows that accidents involving semi-trucks and passenger vehicles can be extremely dangerous, especially for passenger vehicle occupants, who are more vulnerable to serious, life-threatening injuries. So, what can you do to avoid being involved in a collision with a semi-truck? In this post, our Joplin truck accident attorneys discuss the importance of driving cautiously and defensively in order to prevent potentially disastrous and fatal accidents.
Did you know that 68% of truck accidents occur not in cities, but in rural areas? Jasper County and Newton County residents are by now well aware of the dangers involved in sharing the roads with big trucks, which weigh between 10,000 and 80,000 pounds. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, approximately 500,000 truck accidents happen every year, nationwide. Of this number, some 5,000 truck crashes result in fatalities. Of the total number of traffic fatalities each year in the United States, one out of eight involves a truck accident.
In a collision involving a large commercial truck, the drivers of cars, vans and SUVs are at a potentially fatal disadvantage. A tragic 98% of all trucking accident fatality victims are the occupants of smaller passenger vehicles. For this reason, it's essential that drivers of smaller vehicles learn to practice defensive driving around large commercial trucks.
Avoiding semi-truck accidents in Joplin: Defensive driving tips
- Stay alert on the highways, particularly when driving near big trucks.
- Watch out for semi- trucks and tractor trailers when they are turning, or entering/ exiting a highway.
- Slow down and give big trucks a wide berth and extra space in construction zones.
- Remember that large trucks need extra room in inclement weather. They simply cannot maneuver or stop the same way a passenger vehicle can.
- Avoid driving in a truck's blind spots - if the driver cannot see you, you are in danger.
- Never cut off a truck while passing, or drive aggressively to annoy an aggressive driver.
Report aggressive truck drivers
Most commercial trucks are labeled with a telephone number on the back, encouraging motorists to report aggressive or erratic driving. We encourage you to use that number, should you encounter a dangerous trucker on the road. Taking this small step can help make the roads safer for you, your loved ones, and for all Missouri motorists. (Of course, you should pull over in a safe place to make such a call, or have a passenger make it for you. Don't contribute to an already dangerous situation by getting distracted with your cell phone.)