Truckers and bus drivers in California should be aware that 31% of fatal crashes that occur in work zones involve at least one large vehicle. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has some tips for these drivers so that they can avoid becoming a statistic themselves.
It all starts with defensive driving. Drivers must act with the assumption that other drivers may do something unsafe at any time. They should scan ahead 15 seconds for work zones and other unexpected road conditions. Work zones can require one to change lanes, make sharp turns and go over uneven surfaces, so drivers must slow down, increase their following distance, obey all signs and signals and watch out for cars in their blind spot.
Even outside of work zones, truck and bus drivers should never speed. Speeding can cause rollovers and spills, as can an improperly loaded truck. This means that truckers and bus drivers should keep a well-maintained vehicle. Regular brake and tire inspections are essential.
Many accidents arise because of inattention, so drivers must stay alert, never driving when they are sleepy or ill. They should not use their phone behind the wheel as this would be a distraction. Other distracting activities include using maps, using navigation systems, eating and drinking. Having the route planned out before driving is always wise.
Unfortunately, many commercial truck drivers will fail to maintain their rig or will drive drowsy in the effort to meet a deadline. When truck accidents occur because of a negligent truck driver, then those who were injured may file a claim. Truck crashes cam result in catastrophic injuries for victims, but a claim, if successful, might cover all their medical expenses, lost wages and other losses. Victims may hire a lawyer to negotiate with the trucking company.