Large trucks are a common site on roadways throughout the US. People are used to seeing semi trucks next to them during rush hour, merging in and out of lanes as they pass through cities on their way to a destination across the state or country. We depend on truck drivers to carry goods across the country – filling our local grocery stores and shopping malls. With so many trucks on the road people are often lulled into a false sense of safety thinking that truck accidents are uncommon. This false sense of safety puts people at risk. During this holiday season it is important to practice defensive driving while near a semi, or any other vehicle for that matter.
This past Christmas in Prattville Alabama a truck accident took place. The truck ran into a ravine on Highway 82 between Hwy 31 and Doster Road. The truck was typically used to haul logs but was not carrying anything at the time. The crash was so bad that a medical helicopter was called in to take the driver to a nearby hospital. It took an additional two hours to clear the road. Why the accident happened is yet to be determined. One possible explanation is fatigue. Drivers will go for long distances in order to deliver their cargo. They push themselves hard in order to reach a destination in a timely fashion – often leading to extensive fatigue and the likelihood of an accident.
The same day the Chicago Tribune reported a truck accident where a driver struck a cyclist. In Chicago’s Noble Square neighborhood a male bicyclist was struck by a truck and killed. They were both headed westbound when the driver, attempting to make a right hand turn, hit the cyclist. The driver stayed at the scene until authorities came. The driver was clearly trying to be responsible – which is why he stayed but that did not prevent him from getting in an accident that took someone’s life. The cyclist was no doubt going on a route he regularly did – never expecting the dangers that he would face and ultimately costing him his life.
Semi-trucks are massive machines and should be respected. Like any other heavy piece of machinery you should take precautions when around them. These two accidents, on the same day and in different parts of the country, demonstrate the high danger associated with the trucking industry. This danger can cause harm to truck drivers themselves and to nearby motorist, pedestrians, and cyclists. In order to stay safe people need to stay alert when near a truck and never assume that they can see you. Assuming that a truck driver is aware of your presence is a fatal mistake and one that could cost you your life.
Make sure truck drivers are aware of you by doing the following:
· Stay out of their blind spot.
· Use your horn and honk multiple times if they start to move into your lane.
· Flash your lights if on a dark street to alert them of your presence.
· Stay behind them rather than next to them. This way you can see when they are going to turn and respond accordingly.
Taking these few simple steps can help make the roads safer for both you and the truck drivers.
Andrew Miller is an experienced Social Media expert and Author. He has worked in marketing for over a decade and finds his passion in bringing concepts to life for the world to enjoy. He is also an avid blogger and currently working on a book with his wife about social entrepreneurship. He is a true Socialpreneur and finds that his goal in life is to be an agent for positive social change through both his writing and business endeavors.
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