What can Kentucky drivers do to avoid being involved in truck accidents?

Trucking accidents commonly occur, often resulting in serious injuries or death, but by taking certain precautions, people may help avoid such collisions.

Drivers in Louisville, and throughout Kentucky, regularly share the roads with commercial vehicles. Unfortunately, collisions frequently occur involving these large trucks and other, smaller vehicles, often resulting in serious injuries and death for those involved. According to the Kentucky State Police, of the more than 8,600 trucking accidents that occurred in 2014, 1,261 resulted in injuries and 67 of the crashes were fatal. While not all tractor trailer collisions are preventable, there are steps people can take to help ensure their safety when sharing the road with truckers.

Be aware of blind spots

Like many other vehicles, semitrailers have blind spots, or areas where truck drivers cannot see other automobiles and objects. Located on both sides, in the front and in the rear, these spots are much larger on trucks due, in large part, to the size of the vehicles. As such, it is recommended that people avoid traveling in commercial trucks' blind spots for extended periods. The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety points out that if drivers cannot see truckers' faces in their side-view mirrors, then truckers cannot see them.

Allow ample stopping and following distance

Many people are unaware that large trucks need a significantly longer stopping distance than other vehicles. Consequently, truck drivers may not be able to stop to avoid crashing if a car stops suddenly in front of them. Thus, it is suggested that people allow tractor trailers plenty of room to stop. To do this, drivers should avoid tailgating and refrain from slowing down when changing lanes in front of them. Motorists may find it helpful to avoid pulling into a lane in front of a truck until they are able to see their headlights, or the whole front of the vehicle, in their rear view mirrors.

Watch out for right turns

Commercial vehicles do not handle like they are just bigger trucks. Sometimes, truckers may have to swing their vehicles wide to the left in order to make a right turn. When maneuvering semitrailers, truck drivers may not see vehicles that are squeezing between them and the curb. As such, drivers are advised to avoid doing this and to allow commercial vehicles additional space to turn.

Be aware of gusts

Especially when traveling at high speeds on the highway, commercial vehicles may create wind gusts. This type of turbulence can easily jolt and jostle smaller vehicles. The American Automobile Association suggests that motorists keep both of their hands on their vehicle's steering wheel when they are passing large trucks, or are being passed by them. Taking this step may help them avoid losing control of their automobiles.

Seeking legal counsel

When trucking accidents do occur in Kentucky, and elsewhere, the resulting injuries can be devastating for victims, and their families. Often, the medical expenses incurred and lost wages suffered as a result of these injuries put further strain on people during an already difficult time. Depending on the circumstances, however, the trucker, or trucking company, responsible for causing the accident may be held liable. Working with a legal representative may help those who have experienced situations such as this to understand their rights, and their options for obtaining financial compensation.