Truck accidents are significantly more likely to cause injuries or fatalities among people who are not in the truck when the accident happens. Other motorists, including passengers and drivers, face a substantial risk due to the large size of the truck. Truck drivers have responsibilities to drive safely, obey regulations, and do everything possible to try to prevent collisions. Truckers are responsible for many accidents when they fail to follow rules of the road. However, truckers cannot stop truck collisions alone.
The American Trucking Association has some advice for drivers on how they can do their part to try to reduce truck accidents so injury and fatality rates will decline. Drivers should follow the best practices for safety, just as truck drivers need to make sure they aren't behaving carelessly and putting innocent motorists in jeopardy.
To try to help motorists avoid truck accidents, the American Trucking Association worked with safety experts and with professional truck drivers to produce an informative video for motorists. The video will be played for students in driver's education programs and for students attending driving schools throughout the country. It focuses on sharing the road and the ways in which motorists can try to become safer.
The video addresses many of the biggest risks which drivers face when they must share the road with large commercial trucks. For example, motorists significantly increase the chances of an accident happening if the driver cuts off a truck. Cutting off any car creates the potential for a collision, but the risk is greater for commercial trucks. The reason for the added risk is a truck is large and has a lot of momentum. The momentum means it takes longer for the truck to stop, so the truck is more likely to strike a car in front which cut him off.
Another issue addressed is blind spots, which many drivers don't realize exist around all four sides of each truck, including the front, rear, left, and right side. In the video, drivers are shown what truckers see and multimedia presentations and simulations demonstrate where the blind spots are. Motorists are also urged to remember the rule that if they cannot see the face of a truck driver, the driver cannot see them.
Tailgating truckers is also is a big issue addressed. Tailgating involves trailing behind the truck too closely.Just as cutting off a trucker is dangerous, so too is following too closely behind one. This is this dangerous because the truck could be forced to stop suddenly, potentially causing the driver to hit the truck's rear, or worse. Underride accidents, in which a car slides under a truck, could happen when a driver is forced into the back of a truck due to tailgating. Tailgaters also can't see what is happening ahead due to the size of the truck obstructing vision, which means accident risks are even greater.