Trucking Safety – What Every Truck Driver Needs To Know!

Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP Aug. 21, 2015

An important part of big rig safety that can prevent trucking accidents is to understand how truck drivers can cause harm to themselves and others. Lawyers who handle truck wrecks work with clients who have been injured in trucking accidents that could have been avoided if drivers were more careful and alert. Truck drivers and their companies should be educated about some common sense safe driving tips as suggested here by truck accident law firms.

Truck Accident Details

Big rig trucks account for three percent of all vehicles on the roads today, yet are responsible for a disproportionate one out of every eight traffic fatalities.1 Thirty-five percent of these fatal incidents occur when other vehicles travel in a truck’s blind spot. According to attorneys who handle truck accident injuries, seventy percent of these accidents are actually caused by the driver of the non-commercial vehicle, not the truck driver.

Accidents happen when trucks are maneuvering in tight places, backing up, or making tight turns and other vehicles do not stay away from a truck’s “no zone” blind spots. Although many of these incidents are caused by drivers of other vehicles, injury attorneys and truck wreck lawyers suggest that big rig drivers need to be diligent about anticipating potential problems.

Big Rig Driving Safety

This profession has been named as the one of the ten most dangerous professions in America today because so many dangers are present on the roadways.2 Truck accident law firms point out that commercial motor vehicle drivers should be aware of some basic driving strategies that can help prevent some of the many highway accidents as noted below:

  • Check No Zones – Truck drivers need to be aware of the “no zone” that consists of four distinct areas around every truck where they are unable to see traffic around them. It is vital to carefully check these zones to avoid colliding with vehicles in those areas.

  • Proper Signaling – Proper signaling must be used by truck drivers to warn other nearby vehicles of their intended movement. Provide plenty of time for close-at-hand vehicles to see signals, then proceed to move if the highway is clear of other vehicles. Signal lights should be checked frequently and changing lanes should be avoided as much as possible.

  • Driving in Bad Weather – Big rig drivers must be very careful when roads are slick, wet, or snowy and be aware how their truck will react under such road conditions. It is essential to have extra starting and stopping distance on wet pavement to allow time to react appropriately to any sudden moves by other vehicles. Slowing down is especially important on bad roads.

  • Safe Highway Driving – Truck drivers must follow all traffic signs, especially speed limits. Attorneys who help truck accident victims urge big rig drivers to avoid continual movement from lane to lane, tailgating, and heavy use of brakes and gas. Another important part of safe driving includes getting proper rest and avoiding distracted driving.

  • Idling and Parking – Parking big rigs can cause collisions when traffic cannot see around the vehicle to pass . Tractor trailers should not be idled longer than five minutes, parked on side streets, or parked on the side of roadways where the speed limit is greater than 30 mph.

These are only a few of the many ways that big rig drivers can help prevent truck accidents; however, injury attorneys and truck wreck lawyers advise that they are important ones. Truck accident law firms suggest that truck drivers, trucking companies, and concerned citizens seek ways to drive more safely on our nation’s highways to help reduce the number of truck-related accidents that result in injuries and property damage!

1 – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Aministration: Medical Regulations

2 – FCMSA, 2010 Update: Diabetes and Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Safety, May 2011