Driving on the road always comes with some degree of risk, and driving a semi-truck can be especially dangerous. Practicing safe and correct driving habits is key to a pleasant, accident-free journey. Our Las Vegas truck accident lawyer from Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys wants you to stay safe on the road. So, here are some handy tips for your trucking experience.
Preparation: What All Drivers Should Know
To have a safe driving experience, you must first take care of yourself. A pristine vehicle under the control of a worn-out driver is a recipe for disaster. Here are some things you can do beforehand to make sure you, the driver, are ready to drive:
Get Plenty of Sleep
Each year, approximately 100,000 police-reported vehicle accidents involve at least one driver that was fatigued. When accounting for all the accidents left unreported, that number jumps to 328,000. Of that number, over 6,000 incidents involved at least one fatality.
You don’t want to become a statistic. Get plenty of sleep before you start your journey. Taking a quick nap before you get behind the wheel is always a good idea. Even better, though, is to make sure you sleep at the same time consistently every night. Maintaining a regular and adequate sleep schedule will not only help your driving but also many other aspects of your life.
Eat a Healthy Meal
Just as important as getting enough sleep is getting proper nutrition. While junk food is (unquestionably) delicious and enticing, eating such food as your main meals will hurt you in the long run. Just as your semi-truck is a carrier for cargo, your body is the carrier for your life – don’t abuse it! Eating junk food regularly can increase your risk of heart disease, depression, stroke, and many other conditions. Make sure you get plenty of vitamins, vegetables, and fruits in your diet, and don’t forget about essential proteins.
Get in the Mindset
Even if you are well-rested and healthy, you shouldn’t get behind the wheel if you aren’t focused on the drive ahead of you. First, make sure your concentration is solely on the journey. Next, eliminate all distractions before entering your vehicle. Then, ensure that you limit any distractions.
If you have a passenger with you, let them know you need them to not be overly noisy/distracting. Also, turn your radio volume down if it disrupts your attentiveness. Lastly, never text or talk on the phone while driving, and make sure you can hear the environment around you for important traffic cues.
Prevention: How to Stay Safe on the Road
Once you’ve prepared accordingly, you should continue your safe driving practices by remaining watchful on the road in these ways:
Maintain Your Vehicle
While maintenance is no pleasant undertaking, it is a necessary one. Semi-trucks are liable to have occasional problems, common ones being air vent problems and brake problems in the winter. Inspecting your vehicle on a regular basis helps preserve the integrity of your vehicle, and therefore also the probability of a safe voyage. You’ll additionally have peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is in optimal condition, freeing you from worry and anxiety.
You should never be aggressive while driving. Ignore angry drivers, and let them pass you by. It’s important to stay calm and collected, especially when driving a semi-truck, since even the slightest mistake could have devastating consequences. Semi-trucks have larger blind spots, a wider turn radius, and need more room and time to brake in an emergency. Because of these things, it’s always better to err on the side of caution rather than to risk everything in a fit of road rage.
Follow Traffic Laws
The basics of traffic safety apply to everyone – truck drivers are not exempt! Here are some essential driving practices you should always follow:
- Wear your seatbelt
- Obey the speed limit
- Use your blinker when appropriate
- Merge with caution
- Yield the right of way to pedestrians
- Don’t make illegal maneuvers
- Don’t use your cell phone (unless in hands-free mode)
These things should go without saying, but be aware: just because you are in a semi-truck does not mean you have authority on the road. Be respectful of other drivers, and keep a vigilant eye out for threats to your and others’ safety. When it’s safe to do so, make sure you report such hazards to the authorities, and never become one yourself.
Reparation: What to Do after a Crash
Sometimes, crashes just happen. Even with every precaution in place, avoiding an accident could simple just be out of your control. If an accident does happen, there are some things you should do to help minimize injuries and repair what has been damaged.
Stop and Survey the Scene
Once an accident occurs, you should immediately assess everyone involved for injuries. Regardless of whether anyone is in pain, everyone should seek medical attention as soon as they are able.
This is because adrenaline could be making symptoms less obvious. In addition, certain injuries such as whiplash may not even exhibit symptoms until days or sometimes weeks after the accident. Only a medical professional can accurately determine the extent of your injuries, if any are even present. Don’t take a chance with your health! See a doctor as soon as you can.
Furthermore, depending on the circumstances, you may have to undergo a mandatory drug and alcohol testing and/or file an accident report with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). If circumstances do require your compliance with these procedures, do not ignore them! Failure to comply with drug/alcohol testing or failure to report an accident could result in serious penalties.
You should collect as much information as possible while at the scene of the incident. This includes getting insurance and contact information from any other drivers involved in the accident. Additionally, take photos of all damages and injuries. Preserving a photographic record will help you if you decide to file a personal injury claim.
You will also want to talk to any witnesses who saw what happened, and get their contact information and a written statement from them, if you can. As for your own account of the accident, write down what you remember and how you’re feeling immediately after the accident. Memory fades quickly, but the written word lasts much longer.
Lastly, make sure you file and receive a copy of police reports. It’s important to collect as much information as you can so you can dispute any inaccuracies. Furthermore, such evidence will bolster your personal injury lawsuit, should you choose to pursue one.
Contact an Attorney
Even if you are not intent on pursuing a personal injury case, contacting a Las Vegas truck accident lawyer can be invaluable. For one, such lawyers are able to advise you on what you should and shouldn’t do. For example, you should never apologize after an accident, as that can be misconstrued as an admission of guilt.
Also, personal injury attorneys can help assess the damages and what you might receive as compensation if you pursued a personal injury claim. At Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys, we offer free consultations, so don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you may have.
In Need of a Las Vegas Truck Accident Lawyer?
If you ever find yourself in a truck accident, contact our Las Vegas truck accident lawyer from Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys. Our general office hours are weekdays from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., but we are always available to take your call at 844-977-1900. You can reach us online, too, by filling out a contact form or by taking advantage of our LiveChat feature. Remember that consultations are free, and we don’t collect any fees unless we win your case. So don’t wait; contact Lerner and Rowe today!
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.