Although trucks and the trucking environment stand at a billion dollar industry, which is aided by the need to transport goods and services across the country, many should also consider the truck drivers themselves.
According to research presented by the National Highway Safety Administration approximately 500,000 truck accidents occur annually in the United States. Many of these will also go on to create injuries, or at worse, fatalities.
The trucks themselves will range from commercial vehicles (CMVs) that are the size of small straight trucks to very large 18-wheelers. As such, many drivers must understand the individual nuances in driving these two trucks and must also consider what kind of safety measures should be put into place when getting behind the wheel.
Although driving large trucks requires a specific license, there are other things that drivers can do to ensure safety. For instance, the driver can also keep in mind:
- Space cushion: This is a term that is a part of the speech of truck drivers and refers to the space around their trucks. As many understand, there are specific blind spots that exist around trucks and this is considerably more than the average vehicle. Unfortunately, other drivers may not keep in mind these blind spots and thus, as an extra precaution drivers must take into account their own space cushion. Drivers must be aware of the distance of other drivers and then strive to remain a safe distance away. This also goes for the distance at the top when passing through tunnels, the distance below when driving over potentially dangerous surfaces, and the distance in front, behind, and at the sides of the truck in order to avoid other drivers.
- Trip planning: While it is understood that some drivers must keep to a set schedule, it is equally imperative that the driver makes every stride to plan ahead. This means looking at the potential for traffic congestion, inclement weather, construction, dangerous terrain, and other possibly dangerous situations. The driver must also ensure that all truck specifications are followed in order to negate any possible break-downs or other trouble while en-route to the final destination.
- Speed: One must consider the fact that, when driving a large truck, according to the NHTSA, break time can be considerably slowed. In addition, as mentioned previously, there are a lot of blind spots that can make it extremely hard to react quickly should something go amiss. As such, it is important to continually gauge speed and to drive smart; keeping to the posted speed, but slowing down around construction zones, in inclement weather, and during other potentially dangerous situations.
- Turns, curves, & other hazards: In order to encourage safe driver one must also use caution while driving. This means that one should constantly take stock of the surroundings, using the best judgment when traversing around turns, curves, and other hazards while on the road. Being mindful of one’s surrounding will make it marginally easier to react quickly should something go amiss while on the road.
Utilizing all of these measures may not completely prevent accidents; however it can do a great deal to decrease the likelihood that an accident may occur.
To speak with a premier 18-wheeler truck wreck attorney in Houston, call us toll free at 1-866-758-4529.