Truck accidents do occur more frequently than you imagine. If you’ve ever driven on a highway, you may have encountered a time when you had to immediately swerve out of the way of an 18-wheeler that was switching lanes. It can be frightening. Truck accidents are generally more serious than passenger vehicle accidents due to their size and the type of cargo they are carrying. These types of accidents are something that Houston truck accident lawyers are used to seeing.
However, they can be avoided. In Houston, Texas, truck drivers are only legally allowed to drive for 11 hours at a single time. You are also entitled to a 30-minute break after driving for eight hours consecutively. Furthermore, in Texas, drivers should not be behind the wheel for more than 60 hours over a seven-day course. Continue reading to learn about some useful tips to help you prevent a trucking accident.
Tips to Avoid Trucking Accidents
Here are some useful tips to prevent a truck accident. These are techniques that you should always keep in mind, specifically when you are close to larger trucks. These tips apply to being on and off the highway.
- Keep enough space between you and the truck. If you are ever following behind a truck, always keep a good amount of space than you normally would with a passenger vehicle. Larger vehicles have limited visibility of what lies ahead of them. By leaving enough space between you and the truck in front of you, you will be given more time to react if you must make any sudden movements.
- Avoid blind spots. An easy way to help you determine whether you are in a truck’s blind spot is by looking at the side mirrors on the truck. If you are unable to see the driver’s face in the mirror, this means that they cannot see you. It is always safer to use the driver’s side when passing a truck. This is because their blind spot is a lot wider on the passenger side.
- When passing in front of a truck, leave an ample amount of space. Trucks are a lot bigger than standard vehicles. This means that in order to completely stop, trucks will need a lot more distance. Avoid cutting off a truck. If you are unable to safely pass through enough space, you should just remain in your lane.
- Be mindful when pulling over on the highway. If you have an emergency situation that requires you to pull over to the shoulder of the highway, try to find a shoulder that is wide enough. A lot of accidents occur because cars are pulled over on narrow shoulders. Trucks can easily side-swipe you when passing by.
- Quickly pass by trucks when you see them. Of course, you should only pass by when you can safely see that there’s an ample amount of space to do so. You should avoid lingering behind or on the side of a truck for too long. Trucks frequently experience tire blowouts and rollovers. The last thing you’d want to be on the side of one when it occurs.
If you are a truck driver, here are some tips to keep in mind to avoid accidents.
- Drive the speed limit. You should always drive at the posted speed limit and adjust accordingly, whether it be the weather or other conditions. Your main goal is to safely get your cargo to its destination in an efficient manner. But, this can’t be done if you are not taking measures to drive safely.
- Pre-checks are a must. Always plan your delivery in advance, the same way you would do your route. If you see that the area you are pulling into is crowded, always keep a clear line of sight. To prevent you from getting into an accident, park your truck, get out, and take a peek at what you need to do to safely get to where you are going.
- Avoid driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Many truck drivers suffer from driver fatigue, so it may sound tempting to use stimulants to keep them awake. However, this is unsafe and can easily increase your chances of making poor decisions while driving.