This year has brought about countless challenges that people have had to face. While most of us have spent the last several months at home with our families and streaming service of choice, there are still plenty of people who have had to be on the road commuting to work and other essential locations.
Unfortunately, there has been an increase in tractor-trailer accidents over the past year, putting other motorists at risk of injury. In order to keep yourself safe while driving, here is what you need to know about why trucking accidents are increasing and what you can do to protect yourself and your passengers.
What to Know About Increasing Trucking Accidents
Why Are Trucking Accidents Increasing?
With so many people staying home, it may come as a surprise that accidents involving trucks have been increasing over the past several months. On top of the typical causes of trucking accidents — such as distracted driving or driving under the influence — according to recent reports, the increase is due to several factors.
Increased Demand for Supplies
Since the start of the pandemic, there has been an increased demand for hospital supplies, groceries, and other items. This has led to an increase in shipping that has more truck drivers on the road delivering these necessities. As more trucks fill the roadways, the risk of accidents increases.
Driving Regulations Have Changed
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration eased regulations that give drivers more flexibility when it comes to driving durations and breaks.
While the intention behind these changes is to reduce accidents due to driver fatigue, with drivers spending more time behind the wheel in between resting periods, the intention could have the opposite effect.
Empty Roads Means More Reckless Driving
Since there are fewer drivers on the road due to the pandemic, the drivers who are out have had a tendency to drive more recklessly. Truck and car motorists alike have been reported to drive at speeds greater — sometimes double — than that of posted limits.
This increase in speed doesn’t allow them to safely stop if they suddenly need to and can lead to more serious injuries in the event of a collision.
How Do I Protect Myself When Driving Near Trucks
Especially if you’re commuting on roadways that are truck-heavy, you’ll want to take as many precautions as possible to ensure your trip goes safely. Here a few things to keep in mind when driving near tractor-trailers.
Avoid Blind Spots
Although semi-trucks are equipped with extra mirrors to monitor their blind spots, it’s best to avoid driving in any area in which they may not see you in order to avoid an accidental collision.
Always use your signal when maneuvering around a tractor-trailer and aim to pass on their left side, as this offers more visibility. Never change lanes suddenly in front of a truck, as they may not be able to slow down quickly enough and could hit you.
Give Them Plenty of Room
Semi-trucks take more time to slow down and need more room to do so, less an accident occurs. If you are following a truck too closely and they have to stop suddenly or a tire blows out, you may not have enough space to avoid a collision. Especially, when traveling at faster speeds, ensure you have a few hundred feet between you and a semi-truck.
Trucking Accidents in Johnson City
Unlike a car accident or motorcycle accident, commercial truck accidents may involve several insurance companies and different types of coverage.
If you were injured because of a truck driver’s negligence, it is crucial that you work with an experienced Johnson City tractor-trailer accident lawyer who can help you demonstrate fault and obtain compensation for the losses you incurred as a result.