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What should I do if the truck in front of me loses control?

You hate driving on the highway at night, but your sons begged you to let them stay at their play date for a few extra hours. So, being the good dad that you are, you told them you’d pick them up at sundown. Now, as the sun goes down, you gather your tuckered out kids, and you’re forced to enter the truck-laden highway.

You’re about halfway to your exit when you notice it. The truck in front of you keeps erratically adjusting his speed and veering in and out the lanes. You take your foot off the gas to put a little more space between the two of you just to be safe, but he suddenly drifts onto the shoulder of the road and slams on his brakes. You’re about 15 feet from crashing into his trailer. What do you do?

What can you do? How do you protect your kids and avoid a tragic crash?  

Taking Control of the Situation

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that truck drivers are 10 times more likely to cause truck crashes than any other determining factor. They suggest that when a trucker loses control of his rig—for whatever reason—it is extremely difficult for that trucker to regain control. This leads to many crashes, be it a collision with other motorists, a rollover, or multi-car pile ups.

Since trucks can be extremely dangerous when control is lost, it is extremely important to know how to react when you notice conditions for a truck crash. To help protect your family, learn these following safety tips to help you avoid getting caught up in a trucker’s mistake.

When You Notice Signs That a Truck May Be Out of Control

  • Increase your distance. You should always have at least two car lengths between your car and a truck; however, if a truck begins to behave erratically, increase that distance to six, seven, or eight car lengths to increase your safety net for braking and maneuvering.
  • Change lanes. If possible, try to avoid being directly behind or in front of a distressed truck. You never know if it might suddenly brake, speed up, tip, or rollover, so it’s best to stay out of its path.
  • Don’t pass. Although your first reaction may be to get away from the offensive vehicle, passing it is a dangerous move. The trucker may not be paying attention to his blind spots as he’s trying to regain control. In addition, the truck may rollover or tip. Therefore, it’s best to stay out of the truck’s crumple zones.
  • Get away from the truck. As soon as you’re safely able to, get off the highway, turn down another road, or pull into a parking lot. If you’re not near the truck, you can’t be harmed.
  • Call for help. Once you’re away from the truck, call the police or traffic control to warn them of the potential hazard. They will hopefully be able to stop the trucker before a crash occurs.

Controlling the Outcome of Your Family’s Injuries and Future

Knowing what to do in a crash situation, and actually being able to remember and perform those actions during a crisis, are regrettably two very different things. Although you may take the proper precautions while driving, stay alert to potential problems, and try to be as safe as possible—crashes still happen. That is why we’re here to help.

When a truck loses control and hurts your family, we can help you take back the control you lost. Contact us today for a free consultation and review of your case. You and your family could be eligible for injury compensation and treatment costs. Don’t allow someone else’s loss of control to affect your family’s future.

Safety should be the number one priority for every driver. Unfortunately not everyone knows what to do in certain catastrophic situations. Help us spread the word about truck safety by sharing this page with your loved ones.

 

David Hart
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