10 Safe Driving Tips For Parents To Avoid Truck Accidents

It’s holiday season, and families across America are gearing up for those seasonal celebrations. It’s that time of the year for family get-togethers or heading off to that new holiday home.

Sadly, it’s also the time where road accidents statistics go up in the US. And many of these accidents involve trucks.

Here are a few facts published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) about truck accidents:

  • In 2017, there were 13 fatal heavy truck accidents per million people in the US. This is an alarming stat
  • Over 57% of accidents happen in rural areas with just 27% of crashes happening on interstate highways
  • There’s an accident involving a semi-truck or an 18-wheel truck every 15 minutes in the US. This means around 500,00 accidents occur annually, resulting in over 5000 deaths on American roads
  • Most of these accidents occur during the day, and 80% during the holidays and on weekends. To get even more specific, 71% of these fatalities happen when the weather is clear, and the roads are dry
  • 98% of accidents happen to people traveling as passengers in a vehicle when hit by a large truck according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS)
  • Over 700 truck drivers are killed every year in the US alone

So, these are sobering statistics.

What can be done to minimize the number of truck accidents on our roads?

10 Ways to Minimize The Chance of a Truck Accident

Here are 10 tips to prevent truck-based fatalities, especially if you are traveling with children:

1. Stay out of the trucker’s blind spots

2. Leave more space when you’re following a truck

3. Wait for the right time to pass a truck

4. Always make predictable moves

5. Watch out when you’re maneuvering

6. Keep your kids in line

7. Lower your lights

8. Don’t talk and drive

9. Never allow yourself to drive when distracted

10.  Pay attention to the weather report

1) Stay out of the trucker’s blind spots

Never drive in a truck’s blind spot. As a guide, if you cannot make out the face of the truck driver in his side mirror, he will be unable to see you.

If you need to pass a slow-moving truck, overtake on the driver’s side of the truck if possible. The blind spot is wider on the passenger side of a truck making passing on that side potentially lethal when you have kids in the car. If you’re unable to pass in the left lane, you might want to rethink passing at all.

2) Leave more space when you’re following a truck

One of the key components of driving safely, whether or not you have kids in the car, is having a good view ahead so you can react in plenty of time.

If you’re driving behind a truck or any larger vehicle, your view ahead will be significantly limited.

If the truck suddenly needs to take evasive action or needs to brake sharply to avoid another vehicle, you won’t see this unfolding until it’s too late if you’re driving too closely behind.

Do yourself and your children a favour by driving at a distance when you’re following a truck or any larger vehicle.

3) Wait for the right time to pass a truck

When you’re following a heavy-duty truck or semi-truck, it’s crucial to wait for the right time to pass.

Remember that trucks are much heavier than cars and need more distance to stop. Never cut in front of a truck when you’re passing. If you don’t have the space to pass in plenty of time, stay in your lane.

If you’re attempting to pass a truck on a two-lane road, avoid overtaking on curves. Tire blowouts and rollovers are not uncommon so minimize the time you spend driving alongside a truck.

4) Always make predictable moves

When you’re driving behind a truck, make sure you use your indicators to signal your moves clearly. Do this whether you’re switching lanes or turning.

Never make rash or sudden moves and never neglect to use your signals.

5) Watch out when you’re maneuvering

Whenever you’re in close proximity to a truck making a turn or any kind of maneuver, always hold back and give them plenty of space.

Ignore this advice and you could end up with a nasty and unwanted collision on your hands and a car filled with shaken-up kids.

 

6) Keep your kids in line

Make sure your children know how to behave themselves in the car. While you don’t expect silence and complete stillness, teach your kids the right way to conduct themselves on a road trip.

Ensuring that your own house in in order can help you to

7) Lower your lights

Bright lights are a big no-no when you’re driving behind a truck. These vehicles typically have oversized rear-vision mirrors. You could easily dazzle the driver if your lights are on high beam.

 

8) Don’t talk and drive

Cellphones are deadly while driving. No matter how important the call is, never attend the call while driving, and never text when driving either. Think about the potential risk and keep your mind completely focused on the road.

If you receive an urgent call, park up safely to take your call then resume the journey.

 

9) Never allow yourself to drive when distracted

Long journeys are tiring, and they can get boring and stressful, too.

When the kids fall asleep, and silence reigns, you might feel a bit weary and tired yourself. Keep yourself alert and entertained, though. Listen to some upbeat music or a podcast to help sharpen your focus. Remember: truck drivers are bored and tired as well.

If you feel overly fatigued, stop at the earliest opportunity. Grab yourself some coffee and freshen up. You’ll feel much better once you’ve stretched your legs.

10) Pay attention to the weather report

Bad weather conditions increase the chances of road accidents.

Always check the local weather reports for news of any upcoming storms or heavy rainfall. The more aware you are of the weather conditions, the safer you will be with your children.

 

Conclusion

Remember, no matter how cautious you are, some accidents are just plain bad luck. That said, adhering to reasonable safety protocol when you’re driving behind a truck with your kids in the car can keep your chances of an accident to a minimum.

If the unthinkable happens and you need the proper representation, here’s where you can find a truck accident lawyer – Grossman offices.

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