Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

How To Prevent Trailer Accidents

Tractor Trailer Accident

Accidents on the road are quite frequent, and if you’re driving a truck with a trailer, it’s vital to follow all safe-driving protocols. By doing so, you’ll prevent potential trailer accidents, and you’ll avoid suffering from any injuries on the road.

It’s not possible to avoid every bad situation, however. Some accidents may still occur. Nevertheless, there are many ways to drive safely and to maximize your chances of steering clear from danger, like reckless drivers.

This is of incredible importance especially when it comes to semi-trucks and tractor-trailers since a wide turn semi-trailer truck collision can quickly occur due to the condition that drivers work in and the size of their trailers. While driving, it’s critical that you always be incredibly cautious. Probably the most irrefutable factor in preventing these accidents is to have an understanding of the potential danger you’re in all the time.

Following these few simple tips on how to minimize the possibility of trailer accidents on the road should help.

1. Drive Carefully When In The Vicinity Of Trucks And Other Vehicles

Truck trailer drivers usually work very long hours, and it’s quite common for them to start feeling tired or bored. When that happens, they become distracted, which can be incredibly dangerous for anyone on the road. Always be on guard for trucks that are swerving left to right. Stay a safe distance away to avoid any kind of mishap. In case you have to pass a truck, do it quickly and maximize your focus on the road. Distractions cause some of the biggest accidents.

2. Understand That Trucks Aren’t Anything Like Regular Vehicles

Tractor-trailers are not easy to maneuver. Slowing down a truck takes longer than any other vehicle, and stopping a truck is even harder. Trailer trucks are also very susceptible to all road conditions, especially bad ones.

With its incredible size and weight, trucks can easily affect the driver’s ability to hit the brakes and stop the truck in time, which will make tailgating incredibly dangerous. That’s why it’s vital to keep a safe distance between yourself and the truck in front of you.

The average semi-truck with a trailer weighs anywhere from 12,100 pounds to 80,000 pounds. To make it clear, this means that large commercial trucks like 18-wheelers can weigh as much as 25 average cars, or possibly up to 40 smaller cars.

If a tractor-trailer hits a semi-truck from behind, it still won’t be able to slow down or stop as easily as a standard passenger car. This causes many ramifications. Considering its sheer size, weight, and speed, you can understand why many other vehicles are also involved in such accidents.

Should such a crash occur, there are various people to alert and call. After the authorities are notified, there may be a reason to contact a lawyer. When that happens, firms like Salvi, Schostok, & Pritchard P.C. are available to answer your questions and represent your case in a court of law.

3. Think About Visibility Both Ways

Trucks have incredibly large blind spots that limit truck driver’s visibility behind and beside the vehicle. That’s why you need to stay in the truck’s visibility area to remain safe. If you don’t see the mirrors or the truck driver, chances are very high that the driver doesn’t see you as well.

Paying close attention to the truck’s turn signals is also extremely helpful. It often happens that when the truck driver uses the turning signal, they may not notice you and might turn directly in front of you, which can cause catastrophic accidents. Never rely only on your horn or lights for notifying the driver of your presence. Make sure also to slow your vehicle down to stay out of the truck’s path. Watch for trucks making wide turns, too. With the size of their vehicle, they will need to take the extra space to successfully go around a corner. Keep your distance as a safety precaution

4. Be Extremely Careful When Driving In Bad Weather Conditions

A truck driver’s visibility isn’t the only issue you need to be aware of. Horrible weather conditions make things much worse. Always consider lousy weather and all other circumstances on the road. Make sure to drive slowly in bad weather conditions like snow, rain, fog, smoke, etc. Moreover, it’s vital to drive cautiously during the night since visibility can be even lower.

A wet road makes it much more difficult to stop any vehicle, but you need to consider that a trucker has even worse problems. Stopping an 18-wheeler is no joke. A truck driver must stay focused at all times in inclement weather. Bad conditions like fog or smoke make it extremely difficult for drivers to see the road in front of them, and decreases the time they have to respond to any situation that’s happening on the road.

The size or weight of a truck is not something to be considered lightly, and if you’re not extra careful, you could end up in a car accident with severe injuries or worse.

5. A Pit Stop On A Highway Requires You To Pull Over The Road Completely

In case you have to swap a flat tire, never change it near the road. Make sure always to park your vehicle off the road, regardless if there’s mud and dirt. If you don’t do this, you’re risking an accident since tractor-trailer drivers tend to flow with the traffic in front of them. Truck drivers may ‘follow’ your stopped vehicle and accidentally run you over without realizing you stopped your car for a tire swap.

This often happens because truckers are extremely tired. They may possibly nod off without realizing it. When they look up at the road again, they don’t recognize that the vehicle in front of them has stopped moving. Therefore, if you have to stop your car or truck, always make sure to get off the road as far as possible to prevent these accidents from happening.

6. Drive Consciously

You should never get aggressive or take out your road rage against a truck for numerous reasons. If you do, you’ll put yourself and many other drivers at risk of being severely injured or even losing their lives. Tractor trailer drivers are usually trying to drive as many miles as possible to be successful at their jobs. This means they can be impatient and very aggressive on the road. Their aggression can be violent if antagonized.

That’s when drivers may feel the need for retribution. They could brake suddenly or cut off another driver, even though it may cause unsafe issues on the road. If you see that a truck driver is acting aggressively, make sure to slow down, get into another lane, and let the truck pass. It’s possible to even get off at the next exit. In case you ever have this experience, it’s advisable to report faulty or aggressive drivers to their superiors and the police.

Final Thoughts

Prevention is the key, but sometimes it’s impossible to predict and avoid a trailer accident. Although, if you steer clear of aggressive truck drivers and if you follow basic protocols on how to behave on the road, you can avoid most of these scary situations. The key is to stay focused and remember that trucks behave completely different from cars.