According to information provided by the Alaska Highway Safety Office, there were over 44,000 commercial truck accidents in Alaska in 2016 and more than 230,000 traffic accidents involving pickup trucks. If you’ve ever driven on a highway, it is likely that you have had to swerve to avoid the trailer of a big rig, or you’ve seen one coming up behind you at alarming speeds and panicked. These experiences are frightening, and rightfully so.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published its most recent statistics concerning truck accidents in the United States:
– Approximately 57% of fatal truck accidents occur in rural areas
– Around 27% of fatal truck crashes occur on interstate highways
– About 13% occurred in rural areas and on interstate highways
– There were 13 fatal truck accidents per million people in the US in 2017
Accidents between passenger vehicles are usually not as serious as truck accidents due to their size. Commercial trucks are 20 to 30 times larger than passenger vehicles, making the consequences that result from an accident with one of them much more detrimental.
Here is some information on how regular drivers can prevent an accident with a truck.
Preventing a Truck Accident in Anchorage
- Allow extra space between your vehicle and a truck when following one on the roadway. Your visibility is limited when following behind a larger vehicle. You can’t see things like stopped or slowed traffic, hazardous road conditions, or construction. When you leave extra space between your car and the truck ahead of you, it allows for more time to react if traffic ahead of the truck slows or stops suddenly.
- Allow for extra space when passing a truck. Trucks require more distance to stop than smaller passenger cars. For this reason, avoid ever cutting in front of a large commercial truck. If you’re unable to pass a truck with plenty of room between you, then it is advisable to stay in your own lane until you are able to do so.
- Keep out of a commercial truck’s blind spot. A helpful tip to keep out of a truck’s blind spot is to look at the truck’s side mirrors. If you can’t see the trucker’s face in the mirror, he can’t see your vehicle. It is also safer to pass a truck on the driver’s side, as there is a much wider blind spot on their passenger side. Another way to say it is for you to pass in the left lane while the truck is to your right.
- Use caution when you pull over on the highway. If for some reason you need to pull over on the highway, only do it on a wide shoulder or designated rest spot. Oftentimes, accidents on highways occur due to cars being pulled over to the side and getting swiped because they weren’t over far enough or didn’t have enough room to be.
- Be careful if near a truck when it is turning. A large commercial truck requires much more clearance in order to turn than a passenger vehicle. So always allow more room rather than less when judging how much space a truck may need to clear a turn.
The Law Office of Jason Skala has been serving the Alaskan community for over a decade. Jason Skala, a skilled and knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Anchorage, works diligently in order to preserve and protect the rights of injured truck accident victims and their families in Anchorage and the surrounding cities. You may be entitled to significant financial compensation in the event that you or someone you love has been injured or lost their life in a serious traffic accident in Anchorage. Call our law office at 907-569-6633 for a free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis which means you pay nothing unless awarded compensation for your injuries and losses.