As a Pennsylvania driver, you likely share the road with large trucks, such as 18 wheelers, as you travel roads and freeways. These trucks present certain dangers as they typically weigh several tons, brake slowly and are not as maneuverable as smaller vehicles when it comes to preventing an accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration notes that more than 5,000 of these vehicles caused or contributed to highway fatalities in 2018, a slightly higher percentage than the previous year.
While not all accidents involving large trucks are avoidable, remaining aware of the factors that cause them and their aftermath may help you drive more attentively as you share the road with these vehicles.
Types of crashes
More than 4.000 people died in large truck crashes in 2018, and hundreds of thousands received injuries in such accidents. You may reduce the risk of death or serious injury by driving defensively and avoiding the types of crashes that cause them, including:
- Rear-end collisions
- Load dumps that cause crushing injuries
When sharing the highway with large trucks, it is wise to give these vehicles plenty of space, avoid tailgating and passing on crowded highways and remaining clear of a truck driver’s blind spot. Keep clear of the front of trucks and remember if you cannot see a vehicle’s rearview mirror, the driver likely cannot see you.
While you may think more large truck accidents occur on major highways, they are more common in rural areas where drivers may feel it is safe to increase their speed. You can reduce the risk of death or injury by entering roadways carefully and avoid rushing through yellow lights at intersections, as most large trucks cannot brake quickly to prevent a crash.
Driver inexperience and a lack of proper seatbelt use also contribute to large truck crashes. Defensive driving and buckling up each time you get into a vehicle may help reduce the chances of injury or death as the result of these wrecks.