If you travel on the roadways in and around Pittsburgh, you know that there is no way to avoid commercial trucks. From I-79 to the parkway, there are motor vehicles everywhere, with some drivers not paying any attention to what's happening around them.
Knowing the most common causes of truck accidents can help keep you safe. Here are some things to remember:
- Reckless driving: When a trucker is driving in a reckless manner, such as changing lanes without signaling, it increases the risk of an accident.
- Speeding: There is a speed limit for a reason, and every driver should follow it.
- Inadequate training: Driving a commercial truck is a challenge, so proper training is a must. Every driver should receive training on defensive driving, safety concerns and driving techniques.
- Drowsy driving: Truckers don't always take as many breaks as they should. This can result in falling asleep at the wheel, thus putting everyone on the road in harm's way.
- Drunk driving: It's a big no-no for all drivers, but that doesn't mean truckers are never under the influence when they're behind the wheel. Both drugs and alcohol impair a person's ability to drive.
In addition to watching for these things, here are some tips you can personally implement:
- Leave as much space as possible between your vehicle and commercial trucks
- Never change lanes abruptly in front of a large commercial vehicle
- Don't drive in a trucker's blind spot
- Never drive between two commercial trucks for longer than necessary
- Pass in the left lane, never the right
- If you must pull over, move your car as far off the road as possible
Even with all this information in mind, it's impossible to know what will happen when you get behind the wheel. For example, you may be driving safely, just to find a trucker bearing down on you at top speed.
If a truck collides with your vehicle, try to move to safety and call 911. In the event that your vehicle is disabled or you are badly injured, stay where you are until help arrives.
Once you receive treatment and consult with your medical team regarding your long-term prognosis, you can then learn why the accident happened and how you can hold the negligent trucker responsible for their actions.