Big rig accidents usually do not end well for cars. In 2014, for instance, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that 68 percent of all truck accident fatalities were car occupants. That’s why drivers, no matter where they are, should know how to stay safe around trucks.
Trucks are the largest vehicles on the road, and their weight prevents them from stopping as quickly as cars. Many 18-wheelers take twice as long to stop as cars. This could mean bad news if a car suddenly brakes in front of a truck. Often, the result is an override accident, where the truck crushes the car underneath it.
Another danger is underride, where a car collides with a truck’s rear and slides under it. While trucks are required to have underride guards, their effectiveness in most real-world situations has been put into question. Drivers should make sure, then, to allow trucks plenty of space. They should never pass a truck until its front can be seen in the rearview mirror.
There are two other things to remember about trucks. They have more blind spots than cars and often turn into lanes without seeing other drivers. When this happens, drivers should not speed up and then brake. Trucks also splash rain, mud, and snow in bad weather, which could cause unprepared drivers to lose control.
Truckers work long hours and are prone to drowsy driving. When such negligence causes a big rig accident, an injured victim might want to meet with a personal injury attorney to see if a settlement offer can be obtained from the trucking company’s insurer.