Safety Tips for Big Rig Truck Drivers
A big rig weighs a minimum of 10,000 pounds with an empty trailer, and a full load can bring it up to 100,000 pounds. Drivers must operate large commercial trucks carefully because the consequences of any truck accident can be severe. A reliable personal injury lawyer may be able to help in the case of a collision with injuries or fatalities, but it is best for everyone involved to avoid a crash by following a few safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
- Be prepared to drive.
Any personal injury lawyer will tell you that the most effective way to reduce the risk of an accident while on the road is to be prepared to drive. This means that you should be well fed, well rested, hydrated and alert. If you are not healthy, fully alert and free from distractions, you should not be behind the wheel.
- Inspect your truck before each trip.
Before operating a large commercial vehicle, perform a safety check to ensure everything is working properly and that your seat, steering wheel and mirrors are all adjusted to provide the most comfort and visibility. In addition, the vehicle should be regularly maintained to avoid dangerous breakdowns while driving.
- Plan your trip beforehand.
When you know where you are going, the terrain along the way and the traveling conditions, including traffic and weather, you reduce the number of potential distractions and the risk of becoming involved in an accident.
- Create a space cushion.
While you are driving, always be aware of your vehicle’s dimensions, your immediate surrounding and the other vehicles around you. To help prevent contact with other objects, whether they are moving or stationary, create a space cushion on all sides of your truck, including the front, back, top and sides.
- Keep your speed down, and don’t follow too closely.
One of the major problems with 18-wheelers and other large commercial vehicles is that they have long stopping times. If you are speeding or following too closely, it may be difficult or even impossible to stop in time to avoid a collision.
- Always wear a seat belt.
Of the 3,921 people killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2012, 697 were occupants of the trucks, and of the 104,000 people injured, nearly a quarter were truck drivers or passengers. Simply being in a large vehicle does not make you immune from serious or fatal injuries. Always wear your seat belt to be safe.
The personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have. If you or a loved one has experienced an injury or wrongful death due to someone else’s negligence, contact The Personal Injury Department at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP.
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