To get into an accident with a semi-truck or tractor-trailer is to face potentially life-altering or life-ending consequences. And while truck drivers receive exhaustive safety training, it is always best if you take your safety into your own hands. Read on below for safety tips to help you avoid a truck crash.
Drive on the Weekend
In 2015, the greatest percentage of fatal truck accidents occurred on Thursdays. Some have speculated that this is because drivers have been on the road since Monday and are becoming fatigued. Past years also show Tuesdays and Wednesdays as high-risk days. Your best bet? Drive on the weekend.
Weekend driving and accident statistics are the most certain; there were far fewer crashes on Saturdays and Sundays from 2011 through 2015. Logically, this makes perfect sense—there are fewer trucks on the road on Saturday and Sunday, reducing the likelihood of being in an accident involving a truck.
Keep Your Distance
Stay away from large trucks. Semis weighing more than 33,000 pounds are far more likely to be involved in a fatal crash.
Give wide berth. More than a third of fatal truck crashes are the result of a passenger vehicle either swerving into the lane, crossing the center lane into the truck lane, or not giving the truck enough clearance when passing. Trucks, especially fully loaded semis, require at least 100 yards to come to a full stop when driving 55 miles per hour. That is about the length of a football field. So, don’t encroach on the lane and leave plenty of room when passing.
Stay back. Another third of truck fatalities are the result of passenger vehicles hitting the rear end of the trailer or even going under the trailer. Even though the passenger car may be slowing down, it takes longer for the truck to reduce speed. The moral of this story? Don’t follow large trucks too closely.
Move to New England
Yes, this is a bit tongue-in-cheek. We could never advocate you move away from our great state! But the truth is that Texas comes in second to North Dakota on the scale of highest number of fatal crashes per mile driven. The states that follow Texas include Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, South Carolina and Wyoming.
The states with the lowest fatal crash rates? Well, they’re all in New England: Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Curious to Know More?
In sum, the chance of suffering injuries in a truck accident often depends on the day, time, type of road, road conditions, weather conditions and numerous other variables. Drivers of passenger vehicles can visit the website of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to find a vast array of statistics that show when and where truck accidents are most likely to occur.
If you do suffer injury in a truck accident, an experienced truck accident attorney can advise you about your legal options.