Trucks can be dangerous at any point on a highway, but they’re most unstable when getting on and off the highway. Learn how to protect yourself, here.
Driving on the highway is beyond nerve racking. Cars constantly wind in and out around you, SUVs consistently cut you off, and it seems like every day you manage to get stuck behind a semi-truck going 50 mph. However, today was the most nerve racking of all because on three separate occasions you thought you were going to die.
Two occasions occurred as you passed an on-ramp at the exact same time a truck was attempting to merge, and the last occasion happened as you tried to get on the exit ramp while the truck in front of you attempted to at the same time. Each time, you swear you saw the truck tilt towards you as if it were going to crush you. During one instance, you actually had to merge into the left lane—even though you had the right-of-way—just so the truck could get over.
Although you’ve never experienced it until today, you’ve heard a lot about highway truck accidents, and the dangers of on-ramps and off-ramps. So what precautions can you take in the future to protect yourself and your family when approaching an on-ramp or off-ramp where there is a truck approaching?
Dos and Don’ts of Preventing a Truck Ramp Accident
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that over 50,000 people are injured in truck accidents on the highway each year. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, truck accidents are responsible for one out of every ten highway fatalities, many of which occur when trucks are entering or exiting the highway.
Although the risks of a truck accident is higher than you may have thought, and ramp accidents are increasingly prevalent, you can easily help reduce your risks of injury. By following these simple safety rules, you can help avoid the potential for a collision as well as make the entrance and exit ramps safer for trucks.
- Give the trucker the benefit of the doubt. It can be extremely difficult to maneuver a truck, don’t make it more difficult by following too closely, getting too upset, or driving erratically near a truck because he slows down or takes his time to change lanes. He’s most likely taking his time to be safe—not to annoy you.
- Let the semi-truck over. No one wants to be stuck behind a semi-truck. However, when a truck is on the on-ramp or attempting to get off the highway, he needs room to reenter traffic. Don’t make the trucker adjust his speed or brake just because you won’t let him over.
- Be considerate. You hate it when traffic won’t let you merge, or when the guy behind you cuts you off on a ramp—so don’t do it to a semi-truck. Not only will it rightfully upset the driver, but it could cause him to jerk, swerve, or lose control of his vehicle and put you in danger.
- Don’t rely on your speed to outrun a truck. Although cars can generally pick up speed faster than trucks, you should never try to outrun a truck on an on-ramp. Not only is it easy to misjudge distance, but it’s also easy to lose focus of the cars surrounding you when your main purpose is trying to get ahead of a semi-truck.
- Don’t slam on your brakes immediately after a truck merges onto the highway. It takes a lot of concentration for a truck to accurately and safely adjust his speed to match the traffic flow. If you slam on your brakes as soon as he has matched the speed, he may not be able to readjust his speed before causing a rear-end collision.
- Don’t assume a trucker can see you—or that he’ll be able to stop. Just because you’re already on the highway or parallel roadway, and you technically have the right-of-way, it doesn’t mean a trucker will automatically be able to see you—or be able to stop. Remember, having the right-of-way doesn’t provide you with an invisible force field that will protect you from harm. Pay attention and take necessary precautions, even if it means slowing down or moving over for a merging truck.
When Precautions Fail
Unfortunately following the rules of the road doesn’t necessarily mean that your fellow motorists have the inclination or knowledge to follow suit. Regrettably, this means that even though you are doing everything in your power to protect yourself and your family, another’s reckless actions could cause a catastrophic accident. However, getting justice and compensation for his mistakes isn’t out of your control. If you or your family have been seriously injured in a truck or car accident, and need advice, support, and representation for an injury claim, contact us today. Our knowledge and experience will give you a fighting chance to get the rightful compensation and damages you deserve from your insurance company—not just the compensation they want to give you.
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