You may have less stress when your vehicle is the one of only a few on the road — like quite late at night — but you know that this doesn’t happen often.

Instead, you need to get used to sharing the road with all types of vehicles, including commercial trucks.

There are things you can personally do to prevent being part of a commercial truck accident, such as the following:

  • Never drive in the area next to or directly behind a truck, as the driver may not be able to see you
  • Don’t change lanes abruptly in front of a truck
  • Be careful when merging into traffic, as you don’t want to pull in front of a fast moving truck
  • Use turn signals when changing lanes
  • Never attempt to pass a truck in the right lane (use the left lane if you must)

These are just a few of the many things you can personally do to improve your safety when driving.

But there is something else to keep in mind: Truck drivers have the power to make their own decisions behind the wheel. Here are some of the many things a trucker can do that could result in a crash:

  • Distracted driving, which can be as simple as picking up a cellphone to check for missed calls
  • Drowsy driving (despite the fact that there are federal guidelines in place to protect against this)
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Improper maintenance or loading
  • Reckless driving, including changing lanes without signaling and speeding
  • Unrealistic schedule, which typically falls back on the trucking company pushing the driver to “make better time”

Unfortunately, you don’t have any control over the decisions a trucker makes. If a trucker wants to text and drive, he or she can do so (even though it’s against the law).

In the event of a truck accident, you should immediately move to the shoulder of the road and check yourself for injuries. Of course, this may not be possible depending on the damage to your vehicle and any injuries you may be dealing with. In this case, stay where you are until help arrives.

Once you receive treatment and have a better understanding of your injuries, file an insurance claim and learn more about your legal rights.

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