Semi-truck accidents can cause significant human tragedy. The December 2020 Ohio crash on the I-70 that involved three semi-trucks is just one example. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, 153 people lost their lives in crashes that involved commercial vehicles in 2019. That was over 10 percent of the total of all traffic fatalities in Ohio that year.
As a driver or passenger, you can take steps to protect yourself. Avoiding the risk of a semi-truck accident means driving with heightened caution. If you or a loved one experiences a semi-truck accident, you don’t have to face it alone. An Ohio truck accident lawyer can take you through your options during this challenging time of recovery.
The Semi-Truck Accidents That Happen Most
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) tracks the details of large truck accidents. The organization’s data shows that the most common cause of fatal truck accidents is when a transport truck collides with a vehicle. That accounted for 73.1 percent in 2018, down just slightly from 73.7 percent in 2017. The second most common type was a large truck collision with a fixed object, accounting for 9.7 percent in 2018 and 9.3 percent in 2017. The third most common type of fatal truck collision involved a truck striking a pedestrian. That happened 8.2 percent of the time in 2018 and 7.6 percent in 2017. All other types of collisions accounted for less than five percent of the total.
This data shows how much risk car drivers and their passengers face when they share the road with semi-trucks. It’s why semi-truck accident lawyers work diligently to help those affected by such events.
There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of truck accidents, regardless of with whom else you share the highway.
How You Can Avoid a Semi-Truck Accident
The FMSCA offers tips for drivers to stay safe around semi-trucks. Because of their size, semi-trucks need more room to turn and move to the side. It takes them longer to stop than smaller vehicles. They also have large blind spots, which can make it hard for them to see family-size cars on the road. Here is what the FMSCA recommends:
- Stay out of blind spots. Assume that the driver can’t see you if you can’t see them in the semi-truck’s side mirror.
- Pass safely. Signal, move into the left lane, make sure the driver can see you, and move quickly out of the blind spot.
- Don’t cut in front of a semi-truck.
- Don’t tailgate. Stay as far back as possible.
- Give the semi-truck extra space to turn. Don’t “squeeze in” between the truck and the curb.
- Give the semi-truck time to speed up. Demonstrate patience, as truck drivers use technology to help them to accelerate safely.
- Wear your seat belt.
- Pay attention. Avoid driving while distracted.
- Don’t drive while tired.
- Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Following these tips can make all the difference for road safety in Ohio.
What to Do if You or a Loved One Gets Hurt
Even if you do everything right, sometimes semi-truck accidents happen. A truck crash lawyer will stand by your side as you face the next steps in the process.
If your family has experienced this type of event, a truck accident or 18 wheeler accident lawyer can help. At Friedman, Domiano & Smith, we can review the details and discuss the best ways to help you and your family to get the support you need.
For a free legal consultation with trucking lawyers in Ohio, contact us today.