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Truckers must be the safest drivers

It's no wonder that many motorists dislike sharing the road with large, commercial semitrucks. These highway behemoths come hurtling down the interstates, sometimes swaying dangerously close to the passenger vehicles in the lanes beside them. At times, it can appear as if they are encroaching right onto your bumper.

You're right to be wary, but truck drivers have the responsibility to make sure that they and their big rigs are as safe as possible when sharing the roads with other motorists.

Work zones are potentially lethal spots for large trucks

Highway work zones are inherently dangerous places. You have lots of moving parts, including highway workers wearing fluorescent yellow or orange vests, heavy machinery that may swing or extend over the lanes and rubbernecking motorists who may be speeding.

Further, data collected from multiple agencies indicates that 31% of fatal collisions occurring in work zones involve one or more large vehicles, e.g., semitrucks.

How truckers can prioritize safety

Vigilance is required of commercial drivers so they are able to detect unexpected road conditions ahead. They also must be on the alert for distracted drivers. But perhaps worst of all are those drivers who lack understanding about the way these big rigs operate.

Semitrucks take a much greater distance and longer time to come to a complete stop. If drivers in passenger cars slam on their brakes in front of them, the results can be both tragic and lethal.

Truckers should avoid deadly distractions

The life of a long-haul trucker can sometimes be lonely, making these drivers try to make contact and keep in touch with others over CB radios and cellphones. But both can be a source of distraction for truckers, so they must make sure they are fully compliant at all times with the laws governing the use of hand-held electronics and communication devices.

Remain alert at all times

Since stopping on a dime is impossible for truckers, they should make sure that they scan the highway ahead so that they can spot potential trouble. They should also re-check their mirror roughly every 10 seconds to see if passenger cars are approaching the big rigs' multiple blind spots just behind, in front and on the immediate left and right of their trucks.

Signals can save lives

If only cars and trucks came with some sort of early warning systems to inform others on the road of your driving intentions. Insert sarcastic grin here. Something simple like the turn signals many motorists eschew using could keep all safer on the roads when used and if other motorists remain mindful at all times.

It sounds simplistic, but using turn signals and quickly pumping the brakes to alert drivers to slowed traffic or other hazards ahead can prevent deadly highway collisions.

Did you get hurt in a big rig crash?

In collisions with semitrucks, it is almost universally the occupants of the smaller passenger vehicles who face the worst injuries — if they survive at all.

If you suffered injuries in a collision with a negligent truck driver, preserve your right in Georgia to take legal action to recover any financial losses and other damages.

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