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Tips truck drivers can use to avoid accidents

With such large, heavy vehicles under their control, it's imperative that truck drivers take the proper steps to protect those around them. An accident that doesn't even hurt a truck driver could very easily kill or injure someone in a vastly smaller passenger vehicle.

Keeping safety in mind, truck drivers should:

  1. Know when to slow down. No matter what the speed limit says, truckers must pay attention to road conditions, including sharp corners and the snow and ice so common during the winter months.
  2. Pay attention, especially in work zones. The statistics show that a staggering 30 percent of deadly wrecks in work zones involve trucks. A crash could happen, for instance, when a trucker does not realize that traffic ahead has stopped or slowed.
  3. Always signal. This is true even when it doesn't appear that anyone is around. With such large blind spots, truckers can't always see all of the traffic.
  4. Get plenty of sleep. Driver fatigue slows reaction times. It can turn a near miss into an accident. If a driver falls asleep at the wheel, it can be catastrophic.
  5. Do not get distracted. For instance, studies have found that a driver who looks down to text tends to look away for an average of 4.6 seconds. This could cause the truck to go 371 feet without the driver looking at the road.

Many truck accidents are fully preventable, and these tips can help significantly. When a driver makes a mistake or acts negligently and causes a wreck, it is crucial for those who are injured to know all of the legal rights that they have.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Tips for CMV Drivers," accessed Nov. 14, 2017

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