Because they transport all the goods we need across the country, commercial trucks have a vital role to play in the American economy. However, the fact that there are so many trucks on our roads and highways means that there is always a possibility of being involved in a collision with one of them. These vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, so an accident with a truck has the potential to cause catastrophic or even deadly injuries to drivers and passengers of passenger cars.
A high proportion of truck accidents come about due to faulty truck equipment, unforeseen road hazards, or the reckless actions of the trucker or their company. However, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, about fifty percent of truck accidents occur because the drivers of passenger cars are not observing the precautions they should be taking. Here are some of the actions Rhode Island drivers can take to reduce their chances of being involved in a collision with a commercial truck.
Keep Yourself Visible
Large vehicles have large blind spots. For commercial trucks, the largest blind spot is on the passenger side, which is why it is important to avoid passing a truck on that side. You should also avoid settling in other blind spots, such as the spaces directly behind the trailer and behind the cab doors.
To avoid doubt, be sure that you can keep the truck’s mirrors within your line of vision. If you can’t see the truck driver’s eyes, they can’t see you.
Follow from a Safe Distance
When you are traveling directly behind a truck, you must leave enough space in front of you. Following too closely behind a large commercial vehicle will prevent you from being able to see upcoming hazards because you will not have sufficient visibility of the road in front of you. Leaving at least three seconds’ worth of distance between the truck’s trailer and the front of your car will provide you with enough time to respond if anything sudden should happen.
It is also important to leave enough space behind you after you have passed a truck. Their heavy weight means that they require at least twice as much distance as you do to stop. If you leave too small a gap behind your car, you will increase the chances that the truck will rear-end you if you need to come to a quick stop.
Be Careful at Intersections
Many truck accidents happen at intersections. To reduce your chances of being involved in a collision, you should always be careful when you are approaching an intersection where a truck is about to turn. The truck driver will need to swing the vehicle out wide when they are executing the turn, which will often require the use of more than one lane. Anticipating these kinds of maneuvers, having patience, and allowing the truck to finish its turn before you attempt to enter the intersection can be lifesaving.
Clear the Roadway
If you need to pull over on the highway due to a vehicle failure or other emergency, it is vital that you leave enough space on the road. Keeping your stalled car too close to the driving lanes makes you a target for truck drivers whose attention has lapsed due to fatigue, temporary distraction, or incapacitation. Pulling over as far as you can reduces the risk of accidents of this nature. And as always, be sure to engage your hazard lights if you ever have to pull over for any reason.
Contact a Rhode Island Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Even drivers who follow the above tips every time they are on the road may still be involved in a truck accident. Regardless of how careful you are, there are other factors that can cause collisions that lead to injuries. If you have been injured in a truck accident in Rhode Island and the crash was not your fault, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation for your losses. The financial recovery you receive can go toward paying your accident-related medical bills, missed wages due to lost time at work, and even for the pain and suffering that you have endured as a result of the collision.
Filing a claim for compensation in a Providence personal injury case can be challenging, especially when you are dealing with the fallout of a shocking accident. That’s why the Providence truck accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, Accident & Injury Lawyers, Ltd. are here.
We have the knowledge and experience necessary to fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve. Call us at (401) 751-8855 or contact us online today for a free consultation with one of our legal professionals.