4 tips for avoiding trucking accidents on Illinois roads

Trucking accidents may result in serious injuries or death, but there are things that drivers may do to help safely share the road with large trucks.

Every day, motorists across Illinois share the roads with commercial vehicles. Unfortunately, collisions involving these large trucks and smaller, passenger automobiles are all too common. In fact, the Illinois Department of Transportation reports there were more than 11,500 trucking accidents across the state in 2014 alone. Often, such wrecks result in serious injuries or death for the occupants of the smaller vehicles. Although not all truck crashes can be prevented, there are things that drivers can do to help safely share the roads with tractor trailers.

Be aware of the blind spots

Large trucks have blind spots in their fronts, rears and on both sides. When motorists are in these areas, the truckers may not be able to see them and their vehicles. Consequently, they may not be able to take steps to avoid potentially serious collisions. Thus, it is advisable for drivers to stay out of tractor trailers' blind spots as much as possible. They should only drive in these areas if they have to and do their best to limit the time that they are traveling in them.

Use caution when passing

Due to the size of commercial trucks, it takes motorists more time and space to pass them safely. Therefore, it is recommended that drivers ensure they have plenty of clear road ahead of them before attempting to pass tractor trailers. Furthermore, the Illinois Department of Transportation suggests that people ensure they can see the trucks' entire front end in their rear view mirrors before they return to their lanes. This may help drivers prevent some rear-end crashes, which could result in serious injuries or death for them and their passengers.

Avoid distractions

It is always important for drivers to be focused on the task of driving. However, this is particularly essential for motorists who are sharing the road with large trucks. If they are distracted, people may not notice signs, signals, changes in the driving conditions or hazards that may appear on the road. By being attentive drivers, people may help avoid situations in which they have to abruptly stop or slow while driving in front of a commercial vehicle. This may be vital to evading some accidents that occur because it takes large trucks more space to safely stop.

Give trucks room to maneuver

Tractor trailers require more space to maneuver than smaller, passenger vehicles. For example, truckers may have to swing their vehicles wide to the left in order to make right-hand turns. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration advises drivers to refrain from trying to squeeze between large trucks and the curb. The trucks' operators cannot see vehicles that are directly beside them, which may preclude them from taking steps to avoid potentially serious squeezing collisions. It is suggested that drivers allow these vehicles a wider berth than they provide other automobiles and watch for signals so they are aware of the truckers' intentions.

Consulting with an attorney

When Illinois drivers are involved in trucking accidents, the consequences may be devastating for them and their passengers. They may suffer serious injuries for which they need extensive medical treatment. This may lead to undue medical expenses and lost wages, among other damages. People who have been injured in collisions involving large trucks may benefit from working with an attorney. A legal representative may help them to understand their rights, as well as their options for seeking financial compensation.