Fatalities in accidents involving large trucks increased by 5.4 percent from 2015 to 2016. In over three-fourths of the cases, the fatalities were people in other vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists. Passenger vehicles are not designed to withstand the force of a collision with a commercial truck as well as the truck can withstand the force of the collision.
Driving near a large truck can be dangerous throughout the year. However, Chicago’s winter weather conditions can make sharing the road with large trucks more dangerous at times. Below are some tips that can help you avoid a large truck accident this winter. Some tips come from an experienced truck driver.
Relax and Slow Down
It may be difficult to relax when you are driving through snow and ice, but panicking can make it easier to overreact and make a serious driving mistake. Also, slow down. Speed limits are designed for optimal driving conditions. When winter weather causes roads to become slick, you need to slow down to avoid accidents.
Watch the Spray from Tires
Keep a close eye on the spray coming from the tires of other vehicles on the road. If the tires produce a lot of spray, the roads are probably wet. However, a lack of spray may indicate that there is black ice on the roads. Black ice is virtually impossible to see, even when you are almost on top of it. Watching the spray coming from vehicles ahead of you can give you a warning to slow down.
Check Your Tires
Traction can help you avoid a winter weather accident. Make sure you have winter or all-weather tires on your vehicle. You should also check the tread on your tires and replace the tires if the tread is worn. Snow chains may also help provide additional traction during severe winter weather.
Do Not Drive in a Truck’s Blind Spot
Commercial trucks have extremely large blind spots. The truck driver cannot see your vehicle if you drive in these blind spots. You should always avoid driving in a truck’s blind spot to avoid a large truck accident.
Watch the Truck Drivers
Truck drivers usually know what the traffic conditions are ahead and if weather conditions are deteriorating on the road ahead. If you begin to see truck drivers pulling off the interstate in large numbers, you may also want to pull over to check road and traffic conditions ahead. Likewise, do not assume that the roads are safe because you see large trucks. Truck drivers usually have more driving experience and also have the advantage of more weight. It is usually not a wise idea to continue to drive in winter weather condition just because you see truck drivers on the road.
Allow More Distance Between You and the Trucks
When you are sharing the road with large trucks, it is a good rule of thumb to put more distance between your vehicle and the large truck to avoid an accident. In winter weather conditions, you may need more room between your vehicle and a large truck. Large trucks cannot stop as quickly in good weather conditions. Therefore, you want to allow yourself plenty of time to stop if a truck driver loses control of his vehicle and crashes.
What Should You Do If You Are Involved in a Large Truck Accident in Chicago?
Try to remain calm and call for emergency assistance. If you are not seriously injured, you need to find a safe place if your vehicle is not safe. Be extremely careful when moving around after an accident. Other vehicles may cause a pileup, or the truck could explode or catch fire.
In most cases, victims of truck accidents are transported directly to the emergency room because injuries tend to be severe in large truck accidents. If you do not go to the emergency room, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. You need to be checked for injuries and document your injuries for an accident claim.
Contact a Chicago truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Commercial truck accidents are very different from accidents involving passenger vehicles. Crucial evidence, such as the information on the truck’s black box, may be lost if you do not act quickly.
In addition, trucking companies and their insurance carriers have teams of investigators and other professionals to protect them from liability. You need an experienced Chicago truck accident attorney working to protect your legal rights.