The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) just wrapped up its annual ‘Roadcheck’ program on June 8, 2017. This one-weekend exercise aims to ensure that all commercial drivers, including busses and tractor-trailers, are not out driving on the state’s roadways with potentially dangerous equipment violations. Their hope is that, by targeting these drivers, it will make the roadways safer for everyone.
During last year’s Roadcheck, some 22 percent of all commercial vehicles stopped had to be put out of commission so that they could be repaired. This year, just during the exercise, there were five different accidents involving tractor-trailers in Houston.
As for semi-truck drivers, they have reason to want to drive in a safe fashion. If they somehow lose or damage the precious cargo they’re carrying, then they’re on the hook for paying the company back for it.
In order to avoid having to gear their truck up and down and to help maintain the flow of traffic during peak hours, truckers are taught to stay in the center lane. This allows motorists to get on and off the freeway with much more ease as well. In fact, truckers are taught to leave a dead spot, that is the equivalent of 15 to 20 car lengths, between them to avoid crashes.
While truckers are taught to take certain precautions to avoid accidents, vehicle operators can take proactive measures to protect themselves from colliding with a truck as well. Motorists should avoid pulling in closely or stopping quickly in front of trucks as they’re unable to brake as quickly as cars. They should also be careful not to ride close to the rear of the tractor-trailer as that’s a blind spot for them.
Aside from the aforementioned, truckers can do their part to avoid accidents by making sure that their load doesn’t exceed weight limits and that their truck is regularly inspected. As for the inspection, this includes making sure that the truck’s tires are properly inflated, brakes are functioning, and that they’re being honest in reporting their drive and rest time in their travel logs.
In Harris County in 2016, over 6,000 accidents involved tractor-trailers. At least 37 people lost their lives in these accidents. If you know someone who did, then they may benefit from the advice a Houston truck accident attorney.
Source: ABC 13, “Program to keep drivers safe while sharing the road with big rigs,” Rebecca Spera, June 06, 2017