Drivers who operate oversized vehicles are at a higher risk of being involved in an accident. This is due to the increased time it takes them to slow or stop, increased driver fatigue and numerous other factors. There are a few ways to help prevent trucking accidents from happening.
Never Drive Drowsy – One of the leading causes of trucking accidents is fatigued driving. This is because truckers tend to work long hours on the road and may not even realize they are tired until it’s too late. Prevent drowsy driving by getting a full 8 hours of sleep each night, pulling over to rest if needed, and stopping for the day while you still feel alert and awake. Caffeine can be a quick fix if you’ve got just a few miles to go before you can stop, but should not be used to keep yourself awake for long periods of time.
Increase Distance Between Vehicles – The larger the vehicle, the longer it takes for it to slow and come to a stop. This means that truck drivers need more time to break for other cars, animals and road conditions. Keeping an increased distance between the truck and other vehicles will allow for more time and space when braking.
Reduce Your Speeds – In combination with leaving extra space for slowing and stopping, lower rates of speed can help truck drivers have better reaction time and avoid accidents. Be sure to drive at or under the speed limit at all times and slow your speed for road conditions.
Watch for Dangerous Road Conditions – Things like rain, snow, fog and ice can be extra dangerous for large vehicles. Be sure to keep an eye on the local weather conditions and avoid driving during inclement weather. Additionally, road surface changes related to construction is something to be mindful of as it may cause hazardous conditions for truckers.
Unfortunately, some accidents can’t be prevented. If you do find yourself in a trucking accident, be sure to take the proper steps.
Remain calm and don’t panic
Call for police and emergency services if needed
Get yourself to safety away from traffic
Report the accident to your employer if on the job
Check for damages on your vehicle
Take notes and collect information from other drivers
If you didn’t receive medical attention on site, get checked over by a doctor
File a claim with your insurance
File a workers’ compensation claim if needed
Hire an attorney if needed