Driving right next to a commercial truck can be fatal in some circumstances, as many victims have unwittingly learned. In 2015 alone, 3,852 people lost their lives in fatal truck accidents. Due to the danger associated with traveling next to commercial trucks, commercial truck drivers refer to this area as the “kill zone.” Riding alongside a truck is risky for many reasons, including that truck drivers often cannot see vehicles that are that close because they are in a blind spot. Additionally, if a truck driver makes any sudden movement, such as changing lanes or swerving, the nearby driver is likely to get struck in the process.
Commercial truck drivers may confront a number of dangers on the road. It is not uncommon for a truck driver to lose control of this massive vehicle. If a small passenger vehicle is beside this massive vehicle, it can easily get crushed in the process. Commercial trucks often weigh 20 to 30 times more than traditional passenger vehicles. They are also at an elevated height, increasing the possibility that they will topple over the smaller vehicle.
Sometimes cars will line up in the lane next to a commercial truck driver because the passenger vehicle has not passed the truck. If the commercial truck has to move quickly to avoid an accident or other road hazard, the vehicle right next to it can be in danger. Additionally, the vehicles behind them may wind up in a pile-up. Commercial trucks take significantly longer to brake than smaller vehicles, so they may not have enough time to avoid danger other than trying to swerve away from it.
Another concern of traveling too closely to a commercial truck is that the commercial trucks may have a tire blowout. In some instances, the force at which a portion of the tire leaves the vehicle is so much that a nearby vehicle may get knocked off the road. The commercial truck driver may lose control of his or her vehicle, leading to swerving and possible accidents. The truck could even tip over completely, putting others on the road at risk.
There are several defensive driving techniques that drivers of passenger vehicles can take. One is to increase the distance between them and the commercial truck. If a driver has to get beside a commercial truck to pass it, he or she should do so as quickly as is possible while still maintaining safety. The longer that the driver stays beside the truck, the more time he or she is in a potentially dangerous situation. If a driver sees a commercial truck have a tire blowout, he or she should slow down and increase the space between it and his or her vehicle.
If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, it is important to contact a skilled North Dakota personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to preserve your rights. We can visit you at home or in the hospital at your convenience. Contact us online or call us at (701) 484-HURT to schedule a free review of your case.