Fatal truck accidents have been climbing. Between 2009 and today, there’s been an increase of about 52%. These truck accidents can impact anyone, from all walks of life. Whether you’re driving to school, commuting to work or just heading to a friend’s house, you likely have to share the road with multiple large trucks. Every time you pass one, you are at risk.
What is especially interesting is that you, as the person in the passenger car, face far more risks than the person in the truck. For instance, when researchers looked at all fatal truck accidents for a given year, they discovered that 68% of those who passed away were not in the trucks, but in the passenger cars that had been hit.
Why do you face greater danger?
It’s very clear that passengers and drivers and other vehicles face a high level of risk, and much of the reason for this is because trucks weigh so much more than the cars around them. Did you know that a fully-loaded truck could weigh up to 80,000 pounds? Your car probably weighs just a few thousand pounds. In an accident between two vehicles with such a difference in weight and size, the smaller vehicle is always going to be the one that suffers more severe damage, meaning that you are more likely to be injured.
What can you do about this?
The key to driving safely around large trucks is to practice defensive driving. Watch these trucks for mistakes that they’re going to make. For instance, you may be passing the truck when you see the blinker come on, and you realize the driver doesn’t see you and is about to merge into you. You need to either speed up or slow down to get out of that blind spot.
Unfortunately, however, you can’t always avoid all accidents. For instance, large trucks have very long stopping distances. Many of these accidents are rear-end crashes. If you’ve stopped at a red light and you’re waiting for it to turn green, you may not have anywhere you can go to escape a truck that is coming up far too quickly from behind you. Even if you notice it, which isn’t a guarantee, you can’t escape that crash.
If this has happened to you and you’ve suffered severe injuries or a loved one passed away in the accident, be sure you are well aware of all of the legal options at your disposal.