It doesn't matter how hard you try, if you're a driver in the state of Virginia you'll always find yourself in close proximity to commercial vehicles, such as semitrucks.
While sharing the road with semitrucks is a way of life, there's something you need to know: A mistake could cause an accident that results in serious injury or even death.
In addition to making decisions that improve your overall level of safety, you should also take into consideration the most common causes of semitrucks accidents. This will give you a better idea of the strategies you can use to remain safe. Consider the following:
- Inadequate training, such as a trucking company that doesn't discuss defensive driving with its drivers
- Distracted driving, such as when a trucker is paying more attention to his or her cellphone than the road that lies ahead
- Drowsy driving, which is often a problem if a trucker remains on the road for too many consecutive hours
- Unrealistic schedule, which can force truckers to speed and/or drive when they are too tired to do so
- Reckless driving, including but not limited to speeding, changing lanes without signaling and swerving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
As you can see, you don't have any control over these on the road errors. For example, if a trucker decides to drive distracted, you can't do anything to stop the person.
The best thing you can do is maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and commercial trucks. It's not always possible, but there are things you can do to make it easier. For example, get into the habit of leaving a bigger gap between your vehicle and any trucks on the road.
If you are part of an accident with a semitruck, you should assume that you'll require immediate medical attention. Even if you don't immediately recognize any injuries, it's important that you get checked out by an experienced medical team.
Once you do this, it's time to learn more about the accident itself. It's at this time that you will better understand what went wrong and the steps you can take to protect your legal rights.