We all have seen huge commercial trucks on California highways. Imagine if one of those massive vehicles slammed into your passenger vehicle. The resulting injuries and damages could be catastrophic. Sadly, truck accidents happen far too often in the Riverside area, and in many cases, the truck driver and their employer could have prevented the accident if they had acted responsibly.
However, some big truck accidents can sometimes be avoided if only drivers would adhere to simple safety precautions in this article. If the worst has already happened and you were hurt in a truck crash, the Riverside truck accident lawyer at Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C. may be able to help. Mr. Richards has the real-world personal injury claims experience and trial skills to hold a trucking company accountable for what it did.
What Causes Riverside Big Truck Accidents?
Commercial truck accidents occur every day for a variety of reasons. In many cases, the accident could have been avoided if the trucker or employer had adhered more carefully to safety precautions and regulations. Trucking companies and their drivers owe everyone on the road a duty of care to drive safely. But they sometimes fail in their duty for many reasons, such as speeding, improper maintenance, hours-of-service violations, and more.
If the accident results from company or driver negligence, our clients may be able to hold them responsible for losses in a lawsuit. If Mr. Richards can prove the case by a preponderance of the evidence, a client could be entitled to damages for medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
How To Avoid Commercial Truck Accidents
Some truck accidents involving another party’s negligence are unavoidable, but others can be with sufficient precautions. Some proven ways to stay safe on the highway around large trucks include the following:
Stay Out Of Their Blind Spots
Tractor-trailers have much larger blind spots than passenger vehicles. These blind spots are directly behind the trailer, directly in front of the cab, and on the right side of the trailer. It is essential to try to stay out of these hazardous blind spots as much as possible and remember if you cannot see the trucker in his side mirrors, he cannot see you.
Also, you should avoid trying to overtake a truck on the right side, given the blind spot there. It is safer to use the left side to pass a truck and always ensure that the trucker can see you in his mirror. When you get around the truck, ensure enough space between your car and the rig before moving over. Generally, you should wait to move in front of the truck until you can see the whole cab in your rearview mirror.
Allow Trucks Room To Turn
Trucks are much longer than passenger vehicles and require more room to turn safely. Usually, the longer the trailer, the more space is needed for a turn. This is why you may see a truck swing wide or move into an adjacent lane to make a left or right turn.
If you approach a tractor-trailer from behind and it is turning, slow down until the turn is completed so you do not get in an accident. If the truck signals that it is turning into your lane, slow immediately and flash your lights to indicate that you consent. Truckers are often under stress when negotiating tight turns and will appreciate your gesture.
Do Not Overestimate A Truck’s Braking Power
It is important to note that a fully loaded truck may weigh up to 80,000 pounds. This is more than 15 or 20 times the weight of many passenger vehicles. All of that mass takes longer to slow down in an emergency, so this is important to bear in mind. It is estimated that it can take a commercial truck about 525 feet to stop if traveling at 65 MPH, which is more than double that of a typical passenger vehicle. Never cut a truck off and give the driver too little space to slow down, or it could crash into the back of your car.
Never Follow Too Closely
Following too closely behind a truck is always hazardous for several reasons. First, the trucker probably cannot see you if you are too close behind the trailer. Second, you may not be able to see around the truck and what is ahead. If you are too close, you could fail to slow down in an emergency and crash into the rear of the trailer.
Also, if you are in front of a truck on the highway, ensure the rig is not too close behind you. Truckers, like any driver, may speed and tailgate at times, and these behaviors can be catastrophic for passenger vehicle occupants. Speed up a bit and allow more room between you and the truck behind.
Pull Over Safely
If you need to pull over on the side of the road, it is critical to do so safely. At the least, pull as far as you can onto the shoulder. Better yet, exit the highway and park at a rest stop. Truck drivers could be distracted or fall asleep at the wheel and slam into your vehicle on the side of the road.
Lastly, remember that California is a comparative negligence state, meaning that a driver could be found partially liable for a truck accident they are involved in. If that happens, an injury victim could receive less compensation in a claim or lawsuit. So, always drive safely around trucks and obey the law to reduce the chances of a serious accident.
Learn How Our Riverside Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Being in a tractor-trailer accident is one of the most bewildering and terrifying things you can experience. Imagine having your car crumple around you and suddenly being severely injured from the impact. After a tractor-trailer crash, the trucking company will appear at the scene quickly to gather critical evidence and determine how to reduce its liability. Once law enforcement removes the affected vehicles and debris, important evidence may be difficult to find, which could complicate obtaining the most compensation for your losses.
However, Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C. may be able to get involved immediately and protect an injury victim’s interests and rights. Our Riverside truck accident lawyers are skilled at protecting critical evidence, taking witness statements, recording physical evidence, and vehicle positioning. Our clients know that we will do our best to negotiate the best truck accident settlement or even take the matter to a jury if needed. For a consultation today, call our Riverside truck crash legal office at (888) 883-6588.