Why are our Roads Dangerous?
When talking about dangerous roads in Texas or elsewhere, some people like to try and turn it into a “chicken vs. egg” sort of argument where it is seemingly unclear whether bad road conditions and irresponsible driving or our own driving habits serve as the basis for danger on the roads. Importantly, while many do recognize the hazard that drinking and driving or impaired driving pose in general, the same people may not practice safe or defensive driving while behind the wheel. The statistics that become available to the public year after year demonstrate that it is, more often than not, careless driving that causes collisions, accident, injury and death on Texas roads and beyond.
The Semi-Truck Element
The question of safe driving becomes especially acute when the vehicles involved are 18-wheeler commercial semi-trucks that need extra space and time to stop and maneuver. The responsibility for ensuring that we share the roads safely with these large trucks lies on both sides. A semi truck driver that is unaware of his or her surroundings and overly reliant on the capacities and power of the machinery is perhaps one of the greatest dangers we observe on the roads most days. A light vehicle operator, motorcyclist or pedestrian are all in an evidently disadvantaged situation when their companions on a city street or country road are semi-trucks, but there are steps they too can take to increase mutual communication and protection.
A few tips for Semi Truck Drivers
Just because the large 18-wheeler semi truck is more powerful and resilient than most of the other traffic, does not mean a truck driver should feel uneasy, or conversely, throw caution to the wind. On the contrary, operating a vehicle that is so hard to bring to a halt and that can produce such serious damage and injuries to other vehicles and drivers means that the driver should pay special attention to the conditions around them. Mirror checks, being mindful of blind spots, always accounting for extra turning and stopping space required, and going an extra step to be courteous and considerate towards others on the road are all good elements of a defensive driving strategy. Also, being wary of weather conditions is another good way to control the situation on the road.
What about other Vehicular Traffic?
Much of the same advice applies to regular vehicle operators, bikers and pedestrians sharing the road with a large truck. Without the extra protection offered by the huge metal frame of the truck, they should remember to stay safe by giving the 18-wheeler ample space to operate. Another driver or motorcyclist should never attempt to overtake or outmaneuver a truck. Drivers also have to be wary of a semi-truck’s blind spots and space-needs. This means never pass on the trucks right-side, where the blind spot is largest, and give them plenty of room to make turns.
Are Texas roads more dangerous than elsewhere in the United States? How big a percentage of this danger is due to careless driving? These questions are answered well by the current statistics that underline the need for a defensive and courteous driving atmosphere.
Should you or someone you know face a collision, including one involving a 18-wheeler commercial vehicle, contact our office immediately. Our semi truck accident attorneys are knowledgeable about the steps you need to take to protect your rights and get the compensation and support you deserve.