You probably see examples of irresponsible driving around truck drivers on the road every day. While most motor vehicle drivers give truckers their space, there are others who don’t and do irresponsible things like cut them off and tailgate them.
The size differential between an 18-wheeler and a motor vehicle is substantial. The mass of a large truck means that they need an increased stopping distance to avoid colliding with a vehicle. A truck’s size also provides the driver with greater safety in an accident.
The dangers of the underride
One hazardous type of accident is underride accidents involving motor vehicles sliding underneath the truck. The resulting injuries can be severe and sometimes fatal.
New research from the Department of Transportation (DOT) revealed that there are 219 underride accident fatalities per year. However, the DOT added that there may be more underride fatalities because of how police record the accident at the time.
Lobbyists related to underride accident victims are now fighting for the expansion of side and rear underride guards to prevent more fatalities. Their advocacy includes the maintenance for current trucks already equipped with these guards.
Focusing on what you can control
There are only so many things you can control on the road. One thing you can always control is your driving and your habits around trucks. Give them their space and the right of way if you have any doubt that they will arrive in the lane before you. Trying to “beat” a truck into a lane could have life-threatening consequences.
In cases where the driver or trucking company were negligent or endangered the lives of other drivers, there’s less you can do about that. Someone injured by a negligent truck may be able to seek damages for their injuries.