Truck accidents are some of the most devastating vehicle accidents that can occur in West Virginia, and their court cases or compensation claims are even more complicated. However, there are sensible measures you can take to avoid risking other people’s lives and yours or putting yourself in tough legal and financial situations because of an accident.
Ensure your vehicle is in good condition
Before you get behind the wheel, ensure your brakes, lights, mirrors and tires are in good condition. Check the oil level and make sure there’s no leakage or damage to the engine. Confirm with your trucking company if the necessary maintenance checks are up to date. You also want to ensure your cargo is safely loaded to prevent the risk of it falling off the truck and causing an accident.
Follow traffic laws
Obeying all traffic laws alone is enough to prevent an accident from occurring. Measures such as keeping a reasonable distance between you and the vehicle in front, watching the speed limit, avoiding distractions and making sure to signal before turning or changing lanes can help keep you and other vehicles on the road safe.
Get sufficient rest
Fatigue can be a major factor in contributing to truck accidents, as it affects your alertness and reaction time when driving. Plan your trips so that you get enough rest in between, allowing yourself at least six hours of sleep for every 10-12 hours of driving. Additionally, avoid drugs or alcohol before getting behind the wheel, as these can also affect judgment and reflexes.
What can happen if you fail to drive defensively and cautiously
You could end up causing an accident due to negligence, leading to serious injury and material damage. If someone dies, you could face a vehicular homicide charge and a wrongful death lawsuit. This could affect your license and put you in financial peril if you have to pay compensation. Moreover, you’ll have to deal with the guilt and trauma of knowing that your mistake killed or injured people.
The long hours of sitting in one position, getting tired and bored, your back being sore from bad seating and having to stay focused and alert all the time make truck driving a very challenging job. However, being mindful of your health, following traffic laws and ensuring your truck is road-ready can provide some protection against accidents and injury.