UNITED STATES—Truck accidents are an unfortunate reality on North Carolina highways. In 2022, there were over 13,000 commercial motor vehicle crashes in the state, resulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries. These accidents affect the lives of those involved and cause significant traffic delays and economic damages. 

However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and others on the road. Keep reading for four tips to prevent truck accidents in North Carolina.

Use Caution When Passing

According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, it can take up to half a mile to overtake and pass a commercial truck safely. Given that, it is essential to exercise utmost caution when passing and avoid any impulsive decisions that could endanger other motorists’ lives. 

Drivers are advised to be patient and wait for a clear sight of the road ahead before making the maneuver. It is also imperative to ensure that enough space is available to safely return to the original lane without disrupting other vehicles’ flow. 

Even the slightest miscalculation could lead to severe accidents, and drivers must be aware of the risks involved in passing tractor-trailers. By practicing safe driving habits, carefully navigating around large trucks, and having a Whitley Law firm truck accident lawyer on hand in case an accident does occur, drivers can prioritize the safety of everyone on the road and avoid unwanted and sometimes tragic consequences.

Avoid Suddenly Slowing or Stopping

Driving on the road, it is always smart to always be aware of the vehicles around us, especially semi trailers. As we know, these monstrous trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, which makes them a lot more difficult to handle on the road. 

One critical point to keep in mind is that truckers require a much longer stopping distance than cars, trucks, and SUVs. For example, a semitrailer traveling at 55 mph can require up to 430 feet to come to a complete stop. This distance can become even more significant depending on factors such as weather conditions or road grade. 

Therefore, it is imperative to keep this in mind and never suddenly slow down or stop in front of a semi trailer. Doing so endangers us, the truck driver, and other vehicles on the road. We must always be aware of road conditions and drive with caution, regardless of the type of vehicle we are driving. A small precaution can make a significant difference in ensuring the safety of ourselves and others on the road.

Stay Out of the Blind Spots

Large trucks have significant blind spots on all sides, also known as no-zones. These blind spots block the trucker’s view of motorists, making it difficult for them to take evasive actions in the event of a dangerous situation. As a result, it is advisable to avoid hanging around these areas. 

This is particularly essential when passing a truck, as the vehicle may unintentionally collide with your car if the truck driver does not see that you are present due to their blind spot. It is worth noting that these no-zones are significantly larger than those of regular cars, so always keep a safe distance when driving around a truck. If you find yourself in a truck’s blind spot, remember to honk your horn to alert the driver of your presence.

Give Large Trucks a Wider Load Size 

Trucks possess longer wheelbases and are much larger than other vehicles, making it difficult for them to maneuver and turn quickly. In order to make right turns, the truckers often have to merge onto the lanes on their left, which could cause accidents if drivers are not aware. As such, other drivers must be cognizant of this and steer clear of trying to squeeze in between the truck and the curb or another automobile. 

It is also essential to note that large trucks require more space and time to brake and stop, making it all the more important to provide them with adequate room on the road. Finally, it is worth mentioning that these trucks usually travel for long hours, and the drivers may experience fatigue and drowsiness, further highlighting the need for increased caution and awareness on the part of other drivers. 

Stay Away From Truck Accidents

In conclusion, preventing truck accidents in North Carolina is crucial for the safety of all road users. Truck drivers can play a significant role in reducing the number of accidents on our highways and improving their driving skills by following the four tips we have provided.