If you’re planning a long road trip or looking to visit a nearby state, you might be wondering what drivers can do to avoid and prevent interstate truck accidents. After all, thousands of Americans are affected by devastating truck accidents and highway collisions every year.
Learning more about what you can do to protect yourself on the interstate could help you avoid a serious accident and may even save your life. That’s why the attorneys from Vaughan & Vaughan are here to provide the information you need to stay safe on the interstate.
Keep a Safe Distance Between You and a Truck
Since trucks are much larger than sedans and SUVs, driving behind one can obstruct your view of the road ahead. As a result, you might not see an obstacle until it’s too late to hit the brakes. To give yourself the time you need to avoid a dangerous road obstacle, keep a safe distance between your car and 18-wheeler trucks on the interstate.
Pass Trucks Safely to Prevent an Interstate Accident
Another way to avoid an interstate accident is to make sure you pass trucks and other large vehicles safely. The most important safety tip to remember when passing trucks is that you can’t cut in front of them. You’ll need to travel a significant distance ahead of them before you can merge into their lane.
It takes trucks much longer to come to a full stop than other vehicles. Giving truck drivers extra space when passing will allow them to slow down in time to avoid a rear-end collision. You’ll also want to signal that you’re changing lanes, so the driver knows beforehand that they may have to slow down.
Stay Clear of the Truck’s Blind Spots
To prevent a serious truck accident on the interstate, you’ll want to avoid blind spots. 18-wheeler trucks have blind spots on both sides. Truck drivers are also unable to see 30 feet of space directly behind and 20 feet of space directly in front of their vehicles.
Since truck drivers have no visibility of their blind spots, driving in one for an extended period of time could result in a severe accident. You’ll also want to take a truck’s blind spots into account before passing it. Since trucks have larger blind spots on the passenger side, you’ll want to pass tractor-trailers on the driver’s side.
Allow Trucks to Pass You on the Interstate
When a commercial truck signals that they’re merging into your lane, don’t speed up and try to stop them from passing you. Doing so is a surefire way to cause a severe accident. Instead, give the truck the room it needs to safely pass you. If you have to slow down slightly, then do so without forcing care behind you to come to a sudden stop.
Stay Alert When Driving Near Trucks
Truck accidents can happen at any time on the interstate. That’s why it’s important to always be alert and attentive whenever you’re on the open road. To prevent a serious truck crash, make sure you’re focused on the road and not using your cell phone.
If you feel too tired to drive safely, pull over at a rest stop and take a nap or check into a hotel room. Lastly, driving while intoxicated is illegal in every state, so make sure you’re sober and clear-headed when driving on the interstate.
What to Do After a Truck Accident on the Interstate
While there are many steps you can take to avoid interstate truck accidents, sometimes fatigued and reckless truck operators can make collisions inevitable. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck crash, there are a few actions you can take immediately after the incident that will assist you in your recovery.
Here’s what you should do after such an accident:
- Call 911: The first step you should take after any type of auto accident is to call 911. If your injuries are severe, ask the emergency operator to send you an ambulance. If you aren’t badly injured, you’ll still want local law enforcement to respond to the accident scene, as the information they collect to support your insurance claim.
- Speak to the driver: Next, you’ll want to approach the truck driver and ask for their name and insurance information. These important details will allow your truck accident attorney to file a claim with the correct party’s insurance provider.
- Take photos: To help your lawyer build a strong personal injury case on your behalf, take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and anything else that seems significant.
- Talk to witnesses: If any other drivers on the interstate saw your truck accident occur and pulled over to check on you, ask them if they would be willing to give a statement to your attorney. Having their eyewitness testimony could help you win your case.
Don’t Wait to Hire an Attorney After an Interstate Truck Accident
Once you’ve completed the steps listed above, you’ll want to reach out to an attorney to help you with your claim. Doing so quickly will ensure that your lawyer has enough time to file your personal injury suit before Indiana’s deadline.
Under Ind. Code § 34-11-2-4, you have two years from the date of your crash to file a civil suit. If you fail to follow this statute, you won’t be able to obtain the damages you need to rebuild your life. Hire an attorney ASAP to get your suit filed before it’s too late.
Our Team Can Help You Pursue Maximum Compensation
Unfortunately, there’s only so much that drivers can do to avoid and prevent interstate truck accidents. Sometimes, it’s impossible to protect yourself from negligent truck operators. The good news is that the team at Vaughan & Vaughan can help you recover from almost any type of truck crash, car accident, or motorcycle incident.
An Indiana truck accident lawyer from our firm can assess the details of your collision, determine if you have grounds for a claim, and pursue a high-value settlement on your behalf. We’ve recovered impressive case results for countless auto accident clients in the past, so we’re confident that we can help you make a full recovery.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and get started on your case.