Trucking accidents can be devastating and cause severe damages, even more than car and motorcycle accidents. This is little wonder more people are scared of getting in trucking accidents than most other traffic crashes. Even local authorities in Tampa recognize the severe dangers that getting into a trucking accident can cause. Perhaps this is why they have set many safety rules and laws to protect people from such situations.
Indeed, considering the number of trucks you can find in this area, Tampa can best be described as trucking heaven. But, unfortunately, this also means you will be exposed to more risk of getting into a trucking accident while in the area. According to a recent Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle report, about 140,000 people sustain injuries from accidents involving semi-tractor-trailer rigs yearly in the state.
But then, the good news is that there are specific tips that can help you avoid or reduce your chances of getting into such accidents. If you are reading this article now, you are even luckier because we will discuss some of these tips. So ensure to read till the end.
What does a Trucking Accident Entail?
Trucking accidents often involve a collision between a truck and another vehicle, pedestrians, or other road-related things. It could be a crash against another truck, a passenger vehicle, traffic signs, trees, pedestrians, or anything on the road.
These accidents are often pretty damaging, and experts suggest you have a personal injury lawyer’s contact on your speed dial in case you get into such a situation. Luckily, you can reduce your chances of getting into a trucking accident by practicing some of the tips we will discuss below.
How can Truckers Avoid Getting in Trucking Accidents?
Indeed, truck drivers often fare better than other parties in trucking accidents. However, they still have to do their bit in trying to avoid getting in an accident. Otherwise, they might be liable for the other party’s damages in the accident.
Moreover, being behind the wheel of a big rig confers many responsibilities on you. These responsibilities are not only to the truck and yourself but also to your employer, other drivers, pedestrians, and road users. Here are some tips to help truckers avoid getting into accidents.
Always Observe Safe and Legal Speed Limits.
You should know that various states and regions have specific speed limits for vehicles on their road. In addition, these limits are often set for various vehicle types according to driving and safety conditions in the area. For instance, truck drivers in Tampa are restrained to 70 mph on Interstate roads, 65 mph for four-lane divided highways, and 60 mph for state highways.
It is also essential to note that these limits are not just suggestions or advice. Instead, they are rules on the maximum speed you can drive in the area. Otherwise, you might get yourself in legal trouble or, even worse, trucking accidents. You will also need to adjust your speed to a slower pace in bad weather or other conditions that might make it more appropriate to drive slowly.
Of course, you have a job to get your cargo to its destination quickly. But then, it is always better to obey traffic laws and get it there safely than to disregard speed limits and get into a crash.
Enquire About the Local Roads from Your Customer Beforehand
People often assume it only happens on highways when they hear about trucking accidents. But the truth is that trucks usually need to get off the highway before reaching delivery destinations. Sometimes, the local roads might be even more tricky to navigate than highways. When this is the case, you might be exposed to even higher risks of accidents on such roads.
So, it is always best to reach out to your customer and enquire about the local road to your delivery location beforehand. They should tell you about the road condition and if there is any hazard that might affect your driving. Doing this will help you prepare ahead and know how to navigate the road.
Plan Ahead of Time
As a trucker, you should expect to frequently make deliveries to new destinations you didn’t know about. In such cases, it is always best to plan and prepare for the trip. Like any other driver, getting familiar with the delivery route is crucial before you take off. Doing this is even more necessary for truckers, considering that they may not be able to use the same entrances, roads, exits, and underpasses as other passenger vehicles.
Indeed, a GPS can be very helpful in helping you to locate unfamiliar destinations. But then, most of them are not designed to cater to big rigs. Plus, it might miss your destination sometimes. So, it is always best to check a map and compare it with information from your GPS ahead of time. You can also take a quick trip to the delivery destination to check out the roads and other things to note about the route.
Doing this will give you a complete picture of what to expect from the trip and reduce your chances of getting into a trucking accident.
Observe the Rules about Driving Hours and other Traffic Laws
Tampa has strict rules that govern driving hours for truckers in the region. These rules stipulate how long you can stay behind the wheel in a day, how many hours you need to sleep before your trip, and how many breaks you should take between trips. Knowing these rules and adhering to them as a trucker is essential.
Indeed, you know that a drowsy or tired driver can be dangerous on the road. This is because they will not be in complete control of their cognitive abilities and, by extension, won’t be in complete control of their vehicle. So, it is always best to get enough rest before your trip. It would also help to observe the driving-hours rule while behind the wheel. Plus, you need to learn all other traffic and safety laws for Tampa truckers and observe them.
How can other Motorists Help to Prevent Trucking Accidents?
As much as truckers have to be mindful of how they drive to avoid trucking accidents, other road users, especially motorists, have a crucial role too. Here are some things motorists can do to help prevent trucking accidents on Tampa roads.
Leave More Space when Following a Truck than what is Normal for Passenger Vehicles
You must have noticed that larger vehicles limit your view of what’s happening ahead when they are in your front. When this is the case, you will be mostly unable to correctly see things like stopped or slowed traffic, construction, or other dangerous road conditions ahead of you. As such, your might not have enough time to act when you need to make a quick stop or swerve.
However, leaving enough space between yourself and the big vehicle in your front will give you more time to react when you need to act swiftly.
Avoid Driving from the Truck’s Blind Spot
Another crucial tip that could help passenger vehicles prevent trucking accidents is to avoid driving from the truck driver’s blind spot. This is especially when trying to overtake the truck. The trucker might not know a car is coming from behind if you drive from the blind spot, which might lead to an accident.
You should also know that trucks often have wider blind spots than passenger vehicles. So, you have to be extra careful when driving behind them. A trick that can help you is to check if you can see the truck driver’s face from his side mirror. If you can’t, then they most likely can not see you too. Also, it is always best to overtake a truck from the driver’s side.
We have established that trucking accidents can be much more devastating and damaging than most other traffic accidents. So, it is always best to avoid it as much as possible. This article has highlighted some tips to help you avoid such accidents in Tampa.
Perhaps you have been in a trucking accident and want a truck accident lawyer in Tampa to help win your accident claim. In that case, you should contact us at Coleman Law Group now. Rest assured that we will provide all the assistance you need.