How to Prevent Truck Accidents | Salem, MA Injury Lawyer
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How to Prevent Truck Accidents

Truck Accident PreventionWhat Not to Do & What to Do Instead

The majority of truck accidents are the result of negligence on the part of the truck driver, the company they work for, or even the mechanics that serviced the truck. However, motor vehicle drivers can also contribute to truck accidents and their severity, often unknowingly.

Here’s what you should never do when operating your vehicle to help do your part in preventing truck accidents whenever possible. If you are unfortunately involved in a collision with a large truck, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Mazow | McCullough, PC can help.

Cut a Commercial Truck Off

You should avoid cutting in front of a commercial truck whenever possible. It takes a large truck much longer to brake than a traditional motor vehicle due to its size and weight, increasing the risk that you will be rear-ended at a high speed.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that it would be the truck driver’s fault either; if it can be shown that you contributed to the accident by cutting them off without giving them enough time to brake, you may not be able to get full compensation for your injuries.

What to Do Instead

Merge onto highways after trucks versus ahead of them if you can. Or, wait until there’s plenty of space between you and the truck behind you. Don’t turn in front of a commercial truck or maneuver your vehicle in any way that requires the truck to stop or slow down quickly. You could even give the truck driver right of way or wave them ahead of you if it’s appropriate to do so.

Forget About a Truck’s Blind Spots

Trucks have large “blind spots,” or areas around the truck where they don’t have visibility of what may be on the road. This includes 30 feet behind the truck, 20 feet in front of it, and to the right and left sides of the truck behind the side mirrors. When vehicles are in these blind spots, truck drivers are unable to see them.

What to Do Instead

If you are sharing the road with a large truck, maintain awareness of their blind spots at all times, especially if you are passing the truck or following behind it.

When you pass a truck, turn your blinker on when you are more than 30 feet away from the truck and give the driver plenty of time to look back and see that you intend to pass. Then, when you move through the truck’s blind spots, the driver will know you are there.

Approach the Right Side of a Truck When It’s Turning Right

Tractor-trailers and other large trucks make what are known as “wide right turns.” This means that when making a right turn, they will move into the left lane as though they were going to pass another vehicle but will then use the extra space to get around the  corner. Then, they’ll move over to the right lane again.

Truck accidents often occur when a motor vehicle driver attempts to drive around the truck on the right, only to be cut off or pushed to the shoulder when the truck finishes the turn.

What to Do Instead

Understand that commercial trucks need both lanes to turn right. If you want to get around a truck, turn behind them in the left lane instead and then pass the truck as it moves back into the right lane after the turn is complete. Make sure you’re leaving plenty of space between you and the truck at all times.

Drive Distracted or Under the Influence

Distracted driving and operating your vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous, regardless of whether or not you’re sharing the road with large trucks. However, you increase the risk of an accident significantly when you’re distracted or intoxicated – even just tipsy – around large trucks traveling at high speeds.

What to Do Instead

Keep distractions in your vehicle at an absolute minimum. If you notice that you’re in an area with a lot of large trucks, ask anyone in your vehicle to stay quiet and keep your focus on the road. Never text and drive.

Neglect Inclement Weather

Massachusetts and New Hampshire weather can be erratic, and winters are especially difficult for drivers with snow and ice accumulation on the roads.

Trucks and their large loads are particularly at risk for accidents on hazardous roads. It takes a truck much longer to reach a stop than a car on regular asphalt; once you add in slick conditions, the time needed to stop increases substantially.

What to Do Instead

Pay attention to the weather and plan your travel around it. If possible, don’t travel at all when road conditions are hazardous due to inclement weather.

If you must drive your car to work or the grocery store, practice safer winter driving habits like going slow and giving yourself more time than you usually would to slow down or stop.

Avoid interstates and highways that are congested and areas that are getting heavy rain, ice, or snow. If you are traveling in inclement weather around a large truck, give them even more room to maneuver.

Injured in a Truck Accident? Contact an Experienced Salem, MA Attorney

Were you or someone you love hurt in a truck accident? Attorneys Robert E. Mazow and Kevin J. McCullough have extensive experience representing truck accident victims and their families. We can provide you with the comprehensive legal support and advocacy you need after a devastating collision.

Contact Mazow | McCullough, PC today to schedule a consultation at (978) 744-8000. Our team is available 24/7 to answer your call.

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