How Can I Avoid Truck Accidents?

By Peter DePaolis

To avoid a truck accident, your best move is to stay alert while on the road and be aware of the large vehicles around you. This means:

  • Do not speed to pass a semi-truck
  • Be extra cautious in inclement weather
  • Avoid large convoys of trucks on the highway
  • Call the numbers on the back of trucks if you see someone driving dangerously
  • Move over if you see a truck pulled to the side or with flashers on
  • Do not text while driving
  • Never get behind the wheel after you have had a drink
  • Do not drive if you are sleepy
  • Fasten your seat belt
  • Do not be in such a hurry

But perhaps most important of all is to simply be aware of what is going on around you while you are driving. At interstate speeds, things happen quickly! If you are paying attention, you are far more likely to avoid accidents caused by other drivers—and most truck accidents are caused through no fault of the car driver.

For example, last week, a semi-tractor/trailer southbound on I-95 in Florida recently caused a chain reaction collision when the operator failed to notice stopped traffic, hitting several vehicles. The truck’s driver died at the scene, along with at least two other people. Closer to home, a similar accident involving a tractor-trailer and four other vehicles occurred recently on the Inner Loop Beltway just outside DC.

According to a recent U.S. Department of Transportation report, 3,608 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2011, a three-percent increase from the year before. Alcohol was detected in the blood of only 2.5 percent of large truck drivers in fatal crashes in 2011, compared with 27.3 percent of passenger vehicle drivers. What this means is that there is no easy answer as to the question of why truck crashes occur—there are many reasons, and they are impossible to predict.

Understand Your Rights After A Truck Accident

If you have been injured in a truck-related accident, it is important to know your legal rights and how the law applies to your situation. The bulk of federal regulations dealing with the trucking industry can be found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations—or you can simply visit our site to learn more if you have been involved in a truck accident.

Koonz’s Did You Know: A “large truck” is defined as a truck with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia Injury Attorneys


About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.