There are many commercial vehicles that use the roads of Texas. These vehicles are larger and heavier than their passenger vehicle counterparts, and they pose a greater risk to other drivers on the road. Road accidents involving commercial vehicles have fatal consequences for about 9 out of every 10 people who are involved in these accidents.
Trucks are not only deadly to the drivers of cars, but there are also serious risks for passengers in the truck itself.
In order to reduce the number of injuries and deaths that occur as a result of commercial vehicle accidents, it is important for all drivers to utilize defensive driving practices. Defensive driving involves planning ahead, being aware of your surroundings, and not taking unnecessary risks. Defensive driving practices can help you avoid a collision with a commercial vehicle or another driver who makes an error. These practices can make all the difference in a collision even if you don’t do anything else right.
What is Defensive Driving?
Defensive driving is a driving technique that saves millions of lives every day by preventing accidents. It is a way of driving where one practices focus, anticipation, and common sense. While it is important to practice defensive driving for regular-sized vehicles such as sedans and SUVs, it is a crucial factor when driving large and heavily loaded vehicles such as trucks and buses.
The Dangers of Accidents Involving Commercial Vehicles and Trucks
Truck accidents are not the same as car accidents. Truck accidents involve a much heavier vehicle, and these trucks can drag you with them if they hit you while they’re in motion. Just remember that a lot more force is behind a truck collision than with a car accident. Even if you survived the initial impact, you may have been badly hurt and need to get medical attention as soon as possible.
If you have been involved in a truck accident that was due to an unsafe maneuver on the part of another driver or their vehicle, it’s important that you speak with an attorney who has experience in this area of law as soon as possible, check out The Wolf of Law Street Law Firm. A lawyer can help determine how much compensation is appropriate for your situation and also seek punitive damages when appropriate.
The Cause of Trucking Accidents
Trucking accidents affect both commercial drivers and passengers in passenger cars. When these accidents occur, it is usually due to driver error or negligence. One of the greatest causes of trucking accidents is speeding and tailgating by other vehicles behind the large truck or tractor-trailer. The majority of trucking accidents occur at intersections due to turning vehicles not yielding to the larger vehicle.
Other causes of trucking accidents include:
– Fatigued drivers
– Driver distraction
– Distracted drivers
– Vehicle maintenance issues
– Failure to use turn signals
– Improper lane changes
– Driver fatigue from driving long hours
– Tailgating other vehicles on roads
– Weather conditions impairing visibility such as rain, fog, or snow
It’s no secret that truck drivers have to deal with a number of potentially dangerous situations on the road every day. Whether it’s bad weather, impatient drivers, or just poor visibility, there are numerous factors that can affect truck drivers’ ability to safely operate their vehicles.
It’s important for all drivers to understand how they can work to improve road safety for commercial vehicles. By taking some simple precautions and being aware of the risks, you can help to prevent accidents involving trucks on the highway.
To help create an accident-free road, here are the top three ways to improve road safety through defensive driving.
Follow the Speed Limit
Speeding beyond the limit is illegal for many reasons. Aside from being dangerous to the driver, it may also cause accidents involving other motorists and pedestrians. The rule of thumb in applying brakes is that the faster you drive, the longer the brakes will react. If you need to suddenly stop at a very high speed, it will be difficult for the brakes to react according to the stop you desire. Colliding in another fast car, running over an animal, or going off the road are some instances where there was not enough time for the brakes to be applied.
Moreover, a commercial vehicle like a trailer-truck or a bus takes a long time for the brakes to kick in. This is due to the vehicle’s size and heavy load. You must be extra careful and always be focused when driving. Remember, the larger the vehicle you drive, the higher the impact it gives if an accident occurs.
Exceeding the speed limit may result in a fine or jail time for recurring offenses. Take note that traffic rules, fines, and consequences differ from every state or country. You must always take note of the traffic rules, including the speed limit of roads and streets, when traveling.
The most common reason for even the most simple of accidents on the road is that the driver did not notice. When you drive any kind of vehicle, be it for personal or commercial use, you need a hundred percent focus on the road. Be alert of any changes in your surroundings, like a road bump, pedestrians who may cross any moment, or a speeding motorcycle who wants to overtake your vehicle.
Additionally, commercial drivers need extra focus on the road due to their limited range of sight. Long trucks and buses have lots of blind spots. As an additional precaution, always anticipate what might happen when turning to sides, curbs, or backing up. Take note of traffic signs and road announcements, if any. Also, utilize your rear-view and outside mirrors to help you forecast the space you need.
Seat Belt Saves Lives
The seat belt is one of your primary protection devices during travel. While it may be annoying at times, it has spared millions of lives from injury and death. During a sudden stop, the strong force can cause fatality to a person when the seat belt is not in place. As a commercial driver who travels day and night on a busy road, you must always keep in mind to have your seat belt in place before leaving for travel.
Defensive driving does not make you a lousy driver. It makes you a responsible one. Remember to follow all traffic rules and regulations. Take time to get updates on traffic conditions before going on the road. Stay focused and alert at all times.
If you know someone interested in becoming a commercial driver, help him prepare by sharing your knowledge. Share tips about the basics and tricks on how to properly handle large vehicles. Also, remind him to always practice defensive driving to improve everyone’s safety while on the road.
Author Credits Aaron Siddique
Aaron attended the University of Texas at Austin where he received a degree in Political Science and certification in Business from the acclaimed McCombs School of Business.
He received his law degree, graduating cum laude from St. Thomas University School of Law. During law school Aaron argued mock appeals as a member and competitor of the St. Thomas Moot Court Competition Team. Additionally, Aaron interned for the Honorable Michael A. Robinson of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida.
Aaron began his legal career with the Florida based law firm Dell and Schaefer, P.A. where he worked as a legal clerk on personal injury, medical malpractice, and product liability cases. He later joined the J.P. Barth Law Firm, PLLC of Texas prior to becoming a partner at Barth, Siddique & Associates.
Currently, his practice is centered around representing injured plaintiffs in personal injury actions throughout the State of Texas.