Car and truck accident attorneys spend a lot of time talking to people who’ve been in accidents. We see how accidents affect lives and how they have cause permanent physical and emotional scars.
Personal injury attorneys tend to look at reports and literature that try to figure out why accidents occur and how cars and trucks can be made safer to reduce the number of accidents. I was looking at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and saw an interesting report about car and truck accidents. While the report is a few years old, I suspect that it is as valid today as it was prepared by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. It’s a lengthy report so let me share with you some of the highlights I gleaned from it.
Car & Truck Accident Statistics
In a given year, more than 5,000 people are killed and 140,000 injured in crashes involving trucks that weigh more than 10,000 pounds. In those accidents, 98% of the fatalities involving a car and a large truck were to the occupants of the car.
In reading the report, the most significant thing that I learned is that drivers of cars need to learn how to drive around large trucks. Maneuvers performed by a car near a large truck carry a higher crash risk than the same maneuver around another car. Since actions of car drivers contribute more to Car & Truck accidents, car drivers need to be educated about safe lane changes around trucks, following distances and fields of vision.
There are four driver factors which are more likely in Car & Truck crashes than in Car & Car crashes. These are:
- Driving while sleepy, fatigued or drowsy
- Following too closely
- Driving while vision is obscured by snow, rain, fog, smoke, sand, dust
- Making improper or erratic lane changes.
If you want to learn more, you might want to read the complete report prepared for AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Identifying Unsafe Driver Actions that Lead to Fatal Car-Truck Crashes.
Safety Tips for driving near Trucks
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s web-site also has some tips for motorists when driving around trucks:
- Don’t cut in front of a truck because trucks take a longer distance to stop. When passing, make sure you see the front of the truck in your rear view mirror before you move in and don’t put on your brakes.
- Use your seat belt. Enough said.
- Watch for blind spots — Large trucks have blind spots around the front, back and sides of the truck. They can’t see you! Rule of thumb, if you can’t see the driver of the truck in the driver’s side mirror, then they can’t see you.
- Pay attention to driving conditions, truck brake lights and signals.
- Don’t be an aggressive driver – speeding, running red lights and stop signs, making frequent lane changes, and pulling too quickly in front of a truck when passing are all aggressive driving maneuvers and they can cause an accident.
- Be aware that trucks make wide right turns. Don’t get in-between a truck and the curb.
- Don’t drink and drive so you can react quickly to situations and use correct judgment.
This information was brought to you by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. Car and truck accident attorneys located in Bellevue, contact us if or a loved one has been seriously injured, or a loved one killed because of a car or truck accident. With our help, you may recover compensation for your damages.
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