There are around 475,000 accidents involving trucks every year at this point. Is there anything you can do to increase your odds of being safe if you're on the road with a big rig?
Obviously, if you're out there on the road, you need to do your part to stay safe. Don't drive while you're distracted and be cautious about trying to pass a truck when you don't have an assured clear distance. Make certain you don't tailgate and pay attention to a truck's posted blind spots. If a truck is trying to merge, do your best to make room. Most of all, stay alert -- if you see a truck weaving or a driver seems to be dozing off, call the police immediately.
However, there are some other tricks you can use to stay out of a truck accident, including:
- Stay away from the truck routes on Thursdays. That's the day most fatal truck accidents occur. Like most people, truck drivers start getting anxious for the end of the work week. Mental and physical exhaustion can kick in, making it easier for a driver to overlook something. If you can, avoid Fridays as well -- they're almost as bad as Thursday for fatalities.
- Start long trips early in the evening, after dinner. People usually think that trucks are particularly dangerous at night -- but the deadliest time to share the road with a truck is actually between six in the morning and three in the afternoon. It's best to schedule your travel at other times.
- Stay on the freeway or interstate. While people are generally more inclined to fear trucks on the open road, the majority of truck-related accidents actually happen on other roads. It's likely that trucks end up speeding when they shouldn't -- while other drivers are expecting the speed on the freeway.
Being conscious of when and where serious truck accidents are likely to happen is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself safe.