By Consorcio Provincial Bomberos Valencia (Flickr: Vuelco camión Ontinyent 29052014) via Wikimedia Commons

Semi trucks can cause devastating accidents. If you are at the wrong place at the wrong time, you may just find yourself head to head with these mammoth Kings of the Highway. As most semis reach 53 feet long and weight as much as 80,000 pounds, they look terrifying enough even at speeds of 65 mph. What more if one is about to collide with your vehicle? While we’ve heard stories about people surviving fatal truck accidents, the chances of a repeat scenario is dim.

Instead of relying on the likelihood of surviving deadly crashes, know the common reasons behind them so you can protect yourself. Here are the top three:

#1 Driver Error

Being a trucker is no easy job. They usually have to contend with various risks on and off the road such as fatigue, trucking policies, state truck laws, unpredictable weather, and inconsiderate motorists. Little things can mean life and death for a trucker. If he gets distracted, he might collide into oncoming traffic. If he improperly loads his truck, he might be in for equipment failure.

Understand that truck drivers are on the road for long hours at a time; so they may not be at their best condition while sharing the highway with you. Do them – and yourself – a favor by keeping your distance to avoid an accident.

#2 Equipment Malfunction

Equipment failure can come in many forms; which include design defects as well as lack of other devices on the vehicle. A huge truck has many small parts. If one of them malfunctions, especially while on the road, it could have deadly consequences. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) requires trucks to have routine maintenance and inspection BEFORE their trip. However, it’s not all the time that these assessments are observed. Hence, an increase in truck accidents.

#3 Weather Condition

Little things matter to huge trucks. Something like wet asphalt or strong winds can mean the difference between a smooth drive to deliver goods – to a real nightmare. Unlike regular vehicles like cars, they can’t immediately stop during a rainy day. Strong winds can make them tip over because their trailers act like large sails. And snowy weather is even more dangerous. Slippery roads coupled with the cold, and it’s a recipe for disaster.

While no one can control what the weather will be like, regular repair and maintenance will ensure trucks are in good condition for their task. Proper driver training will also prepare them for unpredictable climates.

Get Out Of The Way

Sometimes, no matter how much we take care on the road, bad things still happen. It doesn’t mean that every trucker you meet is unqualified, or that the trucking company is to blame. You were just at the wrong place at the wrong time. When sharing the highway with trucks, follow one simple rule to prevent crashes: get out of the way! Trucks are not your typical vehicles – they have insanely large blind spots and they carry tons of loads that could crush you.

If worse comes to worse, take the necessary legal action and fight for your right to just compensation from a truck accident. If you have taken the necessary precautions to be safe, it’s only fair that you receive financial help from those liable.

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