A safety outreach program called Share the Road is hoping to reduce the number of trucking collisions across America. The group, among other efforts, is raising awareness about driving techniques motorists need to use around larger commercial vehicles. According to the organization, if you are a passenger car driver, you need to:
1) Watch your speed.
Driving too quickly can increase the risk of an accident because it reduces the amount of response time you have in case anything goes wrong. Driving over the speed limit can also increase the risk of a serious accident by increasing the force of any potential crash.
In addition to speed, however, you need to look out for variances in speed. If you are driving much more slowly than everyone around you, you may actually also be putting others at risk. Studies have shown variances in speed – not just speeding — can cause collisions.
Finally, changing your speed frequently can be another problem. Trucks, especially, take longer to accelerate and decelerate than passenger cars. If you slow down suddenly in front of a truck, for example, the truck may not be able to respond in kind and you may inadvertently cause a rear end crash.
2) Buckle up.
Wearing a seatbelt won’t help you prevent a trucking accident, but if you ever are in a collision, wearing a seatbelt can dramatically reduce your chances of serious head injury, spinal cord injury, or even a fatality. A seat belt keeps you in place, preventing you from being thrown from the vehicle during a crash.
3) Plan your route.
Driving on a highway comes with its own hazards. Exits may come up very quickly, and if you are not familiar with a highway you may only have a few seconds to make decisions about exits and lane changes. In addition, highways all tend to look the same, so there may not be many landmarks to help guide your route.
Before taking a longer trip, especially if your trip takes you on a highway, take a look at a map. Make sure you understand the name and number of your exit. Keep careful watch for the signs along the way and as you get closer to your ramp, gradually make lane changes to get into the right lane ahead of time.
A common reason for truck accidents and car accidents on highways occurs when cars cross multiple lanes because they have missed the signs for an exit. You can prevent this type of situation simply by planning ahead.
4) Maintain your vehicle.
South Florida highways tend to involve high speeds and heavy traffic. The better condition your vehicle is in, the better it can respond – even in unexpected or unusual traffic. Being stranded on the side of the road or suddenly finding your car stalling can cause a rear end crash in Hollywood or your community or can cause another type of accident on the highway.
It’s relatively simple to maintain your vehicle. Have your cooling system and radiator serviced regularly and take your car in for a yearly or seasonal checkup. Check your fluids and wipers occasionally and get regular oil changes. Check your car tires before every trip. These simple maintenance steps can help prevent an accident or sudden breakdown.
5) Keep your focus on the road.
Put away distractions and put your full focus on driving safely. On highways, especially, taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds can be deadly.
6) Give trucks extra space.
Trucks need extra time and space to maneuver and if you are too close to the vehicle along the sides or the back of the truck, the trucker cannot see you.
If you have been in a trucking accident on a Hollywood, Miami, or any South Florida highway, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation. Our attorneys are always pleased to support people who have been injured.