According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are more than 13 million large trucks and buses on the nation’s roads. Statistics also reveal that these numbers continue to increase every year. Although more trucks and buses are an indicator of commerce continuing to grow, it also means that the number of commercial carrier crashes continues to increase, as well.
Data collected by the FMCSA shows that each year, there are more than 4,000 victims killed in commercial truck crashes in the more than 115,000 injury-only accidents that happen every year. And because of the massive size of these vehicles, injuries suffered by victims are often catastrophic.
At Shapiro, Appleton & Appleton, our Virginia truck accident attorneys know first-hand the devastating effects a truck accident can have on a victim and their family. We have been advocating for victims for more than three decades and work diligently to get victims the financial compensation they deserve.
Is There a Way to Avoid Truck Crashes?
There are common factors that tend to show up in many truck accidents. Keeping those factors in mind, the following tips can help vehicle drivers lower their risks of being involved in a commercial truck crash:
Watch out for trucks’ blind spots: When a vehicle is large, such as commercial trucks, their blind spots are much bigger than the blind spots in passenger vehicles. Large trucks usually have blind spots on all four sides. The largest blind spots for a truck driver are on the right side of the truck and the rear of the truck. When you are driving around trucks, avoid these areas of the truck so you can be sure that the truck driver sees your vehicle.
Watch out for the way you pass commercial trucks: One of the most common factors in truck crashes is incorrectly passing large vehicles. When you are passing a large truck, make sure to turn on your turn signal well before you plan to change lanes in order to alert the truck driver of your intention. Make sure you can see the truck in your rearview mirror before you begin to pull in front of the truck, ensuring that there is plenty of space between your vehicle and the truck.
Watch out for wide turns on the part of the truck driver: The massive size of commercial trucks means that it is necessary for the driver to make much wider turns than you would expect to take with a passenger vehicle. Usually, a truck driver needs to turn a minimum of a 55-foot radius. When taking a turn, the truck driver may need to swing the truck into the other lane or even to take the turn from the middle lane rather than the lane on the side they are turning (right or left). Vehicle drivers should never try to squeeze by the curb and truck.
Watch your patience level: It can be frustrating when you are trying to get somewhere, especially if you are running late, and find yourself stuck behind a large commercial truck. Trucks take longer to slow down and longer to accelerate. Many trucks now have speed limiters installed when prohibits them from going over a certain speed. Even if you are in a rush, do not drive aggressively or take dangerous chances passing. Doing so could mean you will never arrive at your destination.
Contact a Virginia Injury Attorney Today
If you or a family member has been injured in a truck accident, contact a seasoned Virginia truck accident attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have. Even if it is not entirely clear who is the at-fault party, a Va. injury attorney will be able to determine which party or parties are liable. At Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn, our injury attorneys have successfully represented numerous truck accident victims and have the legal expertise to handle these complex cases with positive results.
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