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5 Practical Health Tips on the Road

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Believe it or not, driving can also be a stressful activity. Being behind the wheel for hours at a time can take its toll on your health. You might experience headaches, back and leg pains, as well as hunger pangs at odd times.

In fact, a few road accidents can be attributed to drivers in bad health. For example: exhausted truck drivers who lack sleep and proper nutrition have been known to cause collisions. Any driver can tell how important it is to stay good shape even while traveling.

Although it’s a challenge, the following tips should help you remain healthy – even while on the road.

 

Easy Health Tips on the Road For Every Driver:

1) Choose comfortable clothing.

This might seem like a small detail, but what you wear can impact how you’d feel while driving. Pick light, comfortable fabrics such as cotton. Simply change to your actual outfit when you arrive at your destination. Try investing in good compression socks to keep your feet warm, and also prevent deep vein thrombosis during travel.

 

2) Pack healthy snacks and choose your meals during rest stops.

There are tons of healthy snack options on the Web. You can lookup recipes for homemade granola bars and trail mix on various websites. Not in the mood to cook or there’s simply no time? Opt for preservative-free beef jerky, low-sugar yogurt, and cut-up vegetables or fresh fruits for the journey.

If you’re stopping for meals, don’t just let your stomach take over. One of the most practical health tips on the road is to select wisely from the menu. Grilled or baked is better than fried, and make sure you add a bit of fiber (e.g. tossed salad) on the side.

 

3) Stay hydrated with water.

One of the most important health tips on the road is to drink lots of water. Whether it’s summer or winter, getting enough fluids is essential for overall performance and alertness. Plus, you remain fuller for longer.

Avoid soda or sweet drinks. Watch how many caffeinated beverages you drink as these can sometimes lead to dehydration. Just carry a water bottle with you and fill it up during your stops. It’s convenient, and gives you a reason to stretch your legs.

 

4) Don’t forget sunscreen and sunglasses.

Even if you’ll be behind the wheel, the sun can still cause problems. Make sure you pack the right sunglasses and sunscreen to protect yourself.

 

5) Make frequent stops (for rest and stretching).

NEVER attempt to keep driving when you feel yourself already drowsing off!

Take frequent breaks during daytime to get out and enjoy the view. Do some stretches or maybe even a quick jog if you can. If traveling with others, switch drivers so you can nap. Completely stop for the night to catch a solid 8 hours.

One of the leading causes of truck accidents on the road are exhausted drivers who keep pushing themselves past their limit. Keep yourself – and other motorists – safe on the road. Make sleep a priority, too.

 

Conclusion

These health tips on the road aren’t absolute – but they are vital to keep yourself on optimum condition when driving. Other things you should remember include: carrying an emergency kit, getting a medical before a long trip, and packing the meds you need.

Just because you’re driving doesn’t mean you should neglect your health.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident recently, get in touch with a legal expert right away. This is to help you determine the primary causes of the event. If this was about negligence on the truck driver’s part (e.g. exhaustion), an experienced truck accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Trucking Accidents: Dangers of Truck Loads

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The wide, open road is like a double-edged sword. On one side, it spells freedom and adventure, the chance to make a livelihood or find new places. But on the other side, it’s a dangerous path full of risks – and even the possibility of fatalities.

In 2015, California incurred 2,925 fatal crashes, resulting in 3,176 deaths, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). One percent of those are from trucking accidents.

While crashes among regular vehicles such as cars are common, collisions from big rigs pose a different threat due to their immense size and weight. That, along with their various loads, can make road accidents a nightmare – not only for the vehicles involved, but also for other motorists on the highway.

Just how dangerous are truck loads? And what can drivers do to avoid accidents caused by it?

 

Unsecured Truck Loads

Fatalities from big rigs are not only caused by crashes or jackknifing. If a truck driver fails to properly load his vehicle, he endangers everybody on the road.

Even ‘harmless’ materials like paper or cartons can become flying debris in an instant – impeding visibility or turning into a road obstacle. Other drivers will react by quickly braking, skidding into others on the highway.

Unsecured loads usually happen when truck drivers:

  • Fail to check if load is appropriately secured with the right equipment (ropes, cables, etc.)
  • Speed up during transportation, causing strain on the equipment holding the load, which can lead to eventual damage or breakage

Once this happens, truck loads could also spill out on the road, resulting to obstruction. Depending on the type of cargo, motorists who encounter them may lose their balance, skid, or crash into the load, leading to injuries.

 

Overloading

Loading trucks is science. Drivers need to be knowledgeable on how to distribute weight evenly so they can drive with peace of mind, while ensuring that their cargo is safe and undamaged.

However, due to strict schedules and tight deadlines, truck drivers are often pressured to load cargo quickly. This may result to improper weight distribution inside the trailer, or even overloading.

Trucks with heavier loads take about 20 to 10 percent longer to stop. This is why it’s never a good idea to tailgate behind big rigs. In the event of an emergency, overloaded vehicles cannot stop on time. Another risk is skidding or tipping over. The imbalance of overloading will make turns or lane changes challenging as well.

When sharing the road with trucks, pay attention to their movement. Are they ‘wobbly’? Are they particularly slow when encountering curves? They could be overloaded. Drive defensively and keep your distance.

 

Hazmat Truck Loads

Trucks carry all sorts of loads: from everyday goods, construction materials, personal packages, food, to Hazmat.

Short for Hazardous materials, this type of truck loads pose a risk not only to motorists on the road, but also to the truck driver. Samples of Hazmat include but are not limited to: battery and battery acid, oxygen tanks, explosives, pesticides, dry ice, etc.

These dangerous goods can be solid, liquid, or gas. Vehicles carrying them have easily visible triangle placards on them, with the classification of the Hazmat they are transporting. But even with the utmost care and handling, accidents happen. In the case of trucks with Hazmat loads, this can turn from bad to worse quickly.

For example: trucks carrying ammunition can burst into flames and endanger everyone within its reach: from cars, homes, to pedestrians. Roads need to close for treatment and damage assessment. Cases where Hazmat truck loads are involved can be highly complicated.

 

Conclusion

If you or someone you know has been involved in a trucking accident in California due to issues with truck loads, contact a legal expert immediately. These cases are complicated; so it’s a good idea to have someone reliable and knowledgeable on your side.

2017 Road Safety New Year Resolutions To Avoid Truck Accidents

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Most people love the New Year because it brings hope for new beginnings and fresh starts.

Through discipline, bad habits can be broken and better routines can be formed. From becoming more active, to traveling more, you can set resolutions for every aspect of your life. But if so, why aren’t road safety New Year resolutions a trend?

Safety on the highway should be a priority as much as finances and healthier lifestyle choices. After all, there are thousands of lives that depend on your decisions as a driver. Complete your 2017 goals by setting your own road safety New Year resolutions.

Start with these top four:

 

Road Safety New Year Resolutions #1: No To Mobile Phones

According to the Nation Safety Council (NSC), drivers who were talking on their phones while behind the wheel were 4x more likely to crash. Meanwhile, texting while driving increases that risk from 8 to 23 times. The issue on distracted driving has become a national pressing concern.

So this year, make it your goal to steer clear of the problem. Keep yourself – and your loved ones – safe on the highway by avoiding mobile phone use. Have calls directed to voice mail. Or why not let a passenger answer a call for you. If it’s urgent, pull over on the side of the road BEFORE taking a call or sending a reply.

 

Road Safety New Year Resolutions #2: Stay Away from Tailgating

About one-third of rear end collisions are a product of tailgating. This happens when you follow a vehicle too closely. This is dangerous for two main reasons: a) your proximity to the vehicle in front of you prevents you from seeing oncoming traffic and/or curvatures on the road and; b) you can’t guarantee that the driver of the other automobile can see you.

Those who typically tailgate are impatient drivers. They want to overtake the car or truck in front of them, so they tailgate until they see an opening. However, if the other driver suddenly stops or encounters an accident, the tailgater has little to no chance of reacting immediately. This could result in fatal injuries – or even death.

In 2017, resolve to be a more patient driver. Practice defensive driving and never assume that other people can quickly see you. If you happen to be following a big rig, keep in mind that it has plenty of blind spots. Keep away from them and maintain a distance of at least two cars apart.

 

Road Safety New Year Resolutions #3: Steer Clear of Speeding

In 2015, about 19,000 people were killed in road accidents. Several of the causes included speeding, distracted driving, and driving under influence. Speed is critical on the road: too slow and you irk fellow drivers, too fast and you endanger yourself as well as your passengers. The key then, is to stick to the speed limit and tread carefully during bad weather.

If you’re in the habit of speeding when no one is looking, break that habit in 2017. Keep cool and be confident in your abilities. In accordance with road safety New Year resolution #2, be patient. If know you’ll need extra time, leave earlier than usual. That way, you don’t need to speed your way to fatalities.

 

Road Safety New Year Resolutions #4: Errors in Erratic Driving

This usually happens when someone drives under the influence (either alcohol or substance abuse). However, impatient or irresponsible drivers could also exhibit signs of erratic driving. This is typically characterized by inability to maintain position in right lane, sudden braking, speeding, and errors in judgment.

For drivers prone to erratic driving, make a strong resolve to be more responsible this 2017. Think about how your actions affect fellow drivers and your passengers.

If you believe you need further help regarding injuries during a trucking accident involving alcohol and/or substance abuse, please seek expert legal assistance immediately. Try not to deal with it alone.

 

Conclusion

These road safety New Year resolutions are just the beginning. Your next concern is following through.

If you’ve developed bad driving habits over the years (e.g. speeding or not indicating), it’s never too late to change. Think of it as a way of protecting yourself and the people you care about. Consistency is key. Stay disciplined and you’ll eventually see the difference it makes on your fellow drivers – and in avoiding truck accidents.

Trucks, Cars and Snow: What Should You Bring In Your Winter Emergency Kit?

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If you think you don’t need a winter emergency kit, or that it will only take up space in your vehicle, think again. The Federal Highway Administration reports that about 24 percent of road accidents are weather-related. This increases in times of inclement weather, such as snow or ice. So if you live in places where there’s usually snow storms or chances of a blizzard, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

A winter emergency kit can ensure that a) you have enough to survive until help arrives, and that you would b) be alright should you find yourself stranded for hours.

Not sure how to begin assembling your winter survival kit? Here’s how to get started:

 

Winter Emergency Kit: The Essentials

Whether you’re a pro or novice driver, preparedness is your friend in times of crisis. You never know when Mother Nature can take a turn for the worst. One minute, everything’s a Winter Wonderland. Next thing you know, you’re stranded with large trucks and other vehicles for eight hours with nothing but crackers.

But if you have a winter emergency kit on hand, you know you’ll be okay. You can always buy pre-packaged kits from retailers. Feel free to add items to it based on the weather in your location or destination. The essentials should include:

  • A first aid kit. Make sure it has band-aids, antibiotic ointments and antiseptics, aspirin, gauze pads, bug spray, cotton balls, bandages, tweezers, and a bandana.
  • A toolkit. This should include items such as a flashlight, jumper cables, early warning triangles, flares, multipurpose tool, tire gauge, and duct tape.
  • Bottled water and snacks. In the event of an emergency, you’re going to need energy to keep you going. If you can get your hands on MRE (meals ready-to-eat), the better.
  • Blankets and extra clothing. When stranded, especially during a blizzard, temperatures can drop below freezing. If you didn’t anticipate being stuck, you could end up in indoor clothing. This is especially hazardous to children.

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the best place to store your winter emergency kit is in the trunk of your vehicle. Get a container to pack everything in so you can access them in one go. Tie bungee cords around it to secure your survival kit.

 

Winter Emergency Kit: Add-Ons

You could be stranded on the road during bad weather for several reasons. You could experience equipment failure. Or maybe you had a minor collision with another vehicle or a truck, rendering your car useless and in need of roadside assistance. Perhaps you miscalculated the snow and ended in a huge traffic jam on the highway.

Want to be extra sure that you and your family won’t be in danger soon should you be stuck on the snowy road? Adding several items to your winter emergency kit is advised. Here are a few other things to bring:

  • Fire extinguisher
  • Small shovel and/or ice scraper
  • Raincoats
  • Vehicle fluids (i.e. oil, antifreeze, brake fluid, etc.)
  • Clean and empty container (for water)
  • Chargers
  • Foam tire sealant (for repairing flats in a hurry)
  • Gloves, rags
  • Salt, cat litter (for ice)

Of course, don’t forget to carry a spare tire and cash. You could get stuck in areas where credit cards are not accepted. Having some form of entertainment, like a deck of cards or a good book also helps. If you were stranded due to a trucking accident, document the event if possible. Take pictures, get names and contact numbers of witnesses, and relay the information quickly to your loved ones. Let them know where you are.

After the ordeal, be sure to get in touch with a trucking accident attorney to help sort out your case.

Trucks, Cars and Snow Storms: What To Do When You Get Stranded

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When snow storm Jonas hit Maryland in January of 2016, millions of people were affected as time seemed to stand still.

Highways had to be closed to be plowed, residents were advised to stay indoors, and cars – that were still driving then – got stuck under more than three feet of snow. Various property and establishments were covered in a thick blanket of snow. Lucky if you were able to get home and stay warm. But if you were stranded, you need to be prepared for the worst.

In one of the worst possible weather conditions, how do you survive? Here are three basic tips to keep in mind if you happen to find yourself stuck in a snow storm.

 

Snow Storm Safety Tip #1: Stay indoors.

If you’re already inside your home or office, it’s best to stay in. If you find yourself outside, immediately seek shelter.

People stuck in their cars should try not to find help – unless it’s within 100 yards. The danger comes from possible disorientation or being blown off by strong winds. Those who are not dressed properly run the risk of hypothermia or frostbite.

Those inside their vehicles should place hazard signs outside to inform rescue teams or passersby that there’s someone in the car. If you don’t have one, a brightly colored cloth or scarf tied around the antenna should alert others of your presence. Conserve gas by letting the engine run for about 10 minutes or so, just enough to keep you warm.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is common when trapped inside your car. So check that your exhaust is clear of snow or blockage.

 

Snow Storm Safety Tip #2: Keep warm.

If you’re stuck in your car alone during a snow storm, keep warm by doing simple exercises such as moving your legs or doing push-ups. But don’t over-exert yourself! Wrap yourself in blankets, newspapers, or mats (if you have those in your vehicle). For those stranded with other people in the car, huddle for warmth.

Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol as this can speed up the cold in the body. Always opt for water.

 

Snow Storm Safety Tip #3: Remain hydrated.

Lucky for you if you have water bottles in your car. If there’s none, you can melt the snow. This is especially safe, as long as you don’t eat it as it will lower your core body temperature.

If you have a Ziplock bag or a metal container, put some ice on it, and use your body temperature to slowly melt it. It will take a while, and you won’t get enough, but it’s better than nothing. If you get dehydrated, your body temperature will drop further.

 

Staying Safe from Snow Storms

It’s not surprising for trucks to also get stranded on roads during a snow storm.

If it gets bad, they can slide on ice and jackknife. This often causes blockages on highways, stranding dozens of vehicles and passengers. Always observe safe driving this season. Keep emergency numbers handy, and be sure to pack a winter emergency kit in your vehicle. Your best resort is to be prepared.

For those who have been involved in truck accidents in Maryland due to snow storm or winter-related incidents, get in touch with a trucking accident lawyer immediately.

The Anatomy of a Fatal Semi Truck Crash

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Truck crashes usually happen in places where population is dense, like urban areas. So it’s no surprise that the state of Texas experiences plenty of semi truck accidents. This is most common in busy freeways like Interstate 10 and 35. While a semi truck crash may seem simple upon first glance, the events that led to the collision may not be.

In every semi truck crash, investigators must piece together various pieces of the puzzle to uncover the truth – and hopefully, help victims and their families get the compensation they deserve.

Here’s a look at the anatomy of fatal truck accidents: how they happened and why.

 

Minutes Before Impact: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Even with their massive size, semi trucks can in fact, blend in with their surroundings that it can sometimes be hard for drivers to spot them from afar.

Weather conditions could aggravate matters further by adding fog or low light in the mix. Depending on the length and color of the vehicle, it’s possible for someone to mistake semis for a bridge in the distance, or even a high wall. If they’re speeding, are distracted, or are driving under intoxication, there’s a chance that they could collide with the truck ahead of them

Such is the case with Tesla’s self-driving car when it ran into a semi-truck in May of this year. The driver seems to have been distracted and didn’t notice the big rig in broad daylight. The self-driving car on the other hand, failed to detect it as well possibly due to the white side of the tractor-trailer against too much light.

Seconds Before Impact: Truck Crash Ahead

Due to their enormous size and heavy loads (up to 80,000 lbs.), collisions involving semis are almost always fatal. Motorists who get to walk away from truck crashes with only minor injuries are more than lucky. But this rarely happens.

It’s not just speeding and distractions that could contribute to a deadly truck crash. Aside from natural surroundings and weather making semis hard to detect at times, some truck drivers assume that other motorists know how to share the roads with them.

Remember: trucks can’t accelerate the way that other vehicles can. There will always be a delay of about 30 seconds of more. Plus, as their semi trailers are ‘hinged’ to the tractor, they will swing or jackknife at an angle. If trucks are making a turn at a corner for example, it’s not uncommon to find vehicles colliding at them from the sides.

The backs of semi trailers today have crash bars, preventing smaller vehicles from driving under them in case of an accident. However, the sides do not have any. That’s how drive-under or under-ride crashes happen. This is perhaps the deadliest type of truck crash. Occupants of the vehicle could suffer fatal injuries to their heads and/or upper bodies, as well as wrongful death.

 

The Aftermath

If you or someone you know has been involved in a truck crash in Texas, don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance. This is highly advised, especially for families who have suffered wrongful death during the time of the accident. Due to other parties involved (i.e. trucking companies, insurance agencies, etc.), the victim(s) could feel helpless or vulnerable to simple settlements.

Fight for what you deserve. Contact a Texas trucking accident lawyer who has years of experience on such cases. In the aftermath of even the deadliest truck crashes, you and your family still have a choice. Let us help.

Top 3 Truck Accident Myths – Busted!

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According to the 2012 fatal truck accident crash report from the NHTSA, California ranks third among the states with the most number of vehicle crashes, 6.4 percent of which are truck accidents. Over the years, the distances traveled by big rigs have increased – making it tougher for drivers to meet their quotas. Couple this with fatigue and strict regulations and you have a collision in the making.

But there’s more to accidents than meets the eye. More than the injuries and compensation lay truths about what really went on before AND after the incident. If you or someone you know has been involved in a truck accident, then you understand how complicated it can become.

Will the trucking company be held liable? Was the driver really intoxicated before the impact? If the truck jackknifed, can you still survive the collision?

Don’t immediately believe everything you hear, see, or read. When it comes to truck accidents, myths can be deadly. Here’s the top three to be aware of:

 

Truck Accident Myths #1: Trucking companies usually cannot be held liable for accidents.

While the first instinct is to blame the semi truck driver, there are cases wherein the trucking company could be held liable as well. If there’s strong, sufficient evidence that the trucking company committed negligence, then they would need to compensate the victims for injuries and losses.

Among the reasons when this would apply includes:

  • Failure to comply with state and/or federal trucking laws
  • Inadequate training to drivers, or poor maintenance of vehicles
  • Not conducting necessary tests or background checks for their drivers

Even big trucking companies are NOT excused. Meet with a reputable trucking accident lawyer to help determine the extent of fault for your particular case.

 

Truck Accident Myths #2: The worst type of truck accident is jackknifing.

Although jackknifing can catch you off guard, there are other types of truck accidents that could be just as deadly – if not more.

Rollover accidents for example, can be fatal because it could strike at any moment. This could be triggered by strong winds, uneven distribution of load, equipment failure, or bad road conditions. That’s why vehicles sharing the road with big rigs are highly advised against tailgating or getting in a truck’s blind spots. Should the semi rollover, the force of impact would be greater on the passenger vehicle.

Be sure to practice defensive driving techniques when on the highway with semis.

 

Truck Accident Myths #3: Insurance companies will provide fair compensation for truck accident victims.

Although not entirely false, it’s not totally true either. That’s because insurance agencies are mostly looking out for their own policies and profits. As truck accidents are typically complicated matters, victims who immediately agree to settlements from insurance companies could be compromising legitimate accident claims.

If you want to know how much you really deserve and also bust common truck accident myths, it’s best to get in touch with an experienced California truck accident attorney. Take advantage of a free evaluation for your case. Don’t delay or hesitate.

Remember: this is not only for your peace of mind, but also for your future. With the help of a legal expert, you can get the compensation you deserve.

Truck Accidents and Snowy Weather: Crucial Driving Tips for the Holidays

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Although it varies from year to year, New York City usually gets about 25 inches of snow per year. This doesn’t even include places like Rochester and Buffalo that get twice as much during winter months. While people may seem excited with the upcoming holiday, snow usually spells disaster – especially on the roads.

Snowy weather is hazardous to all kinds of vehicles, but particularly to big rigs. Due to their enormous size, heavy loads, and long drives, they pose a threat to their drivers and other motorists. While any type of road accident is scary, trucks make it worse. They can fall over with strong gusts of wind, or skid out of control because of icy highways.

Whether you’ll be sharing the road with them or not, it pays to know how to drive safely in such circumstances. Here are several driving tips meant for snowy weather.

 

Avoid Road Accidents: How To Drive on Icy Roads

Over the past 10 years, snow, sleet, and ice have caused hundreds of thousands of crashes. About two percent of these collisions end up in fatalities. While one can never tell what would happen on the highway during bad weather conditions, it’s best to practice extra precaution and defensive driving to keep you – and your family – safe.

Icy roads, especially black ice, can be almost invisible to the eye. Even the most experienced and careful drivers find themselves careening out of control in the presence of black ice. Aside from ensuring you have the right equipment for wintry weather, take note of the following driving tips as well:

  • Be observant and alert at all times. If you see vehicles sliding ahead or slowing down, downshift to lower gear to gain better control of your vehicle.

 

  • Turn off cruise control and make sure you – and other passengers – are wearing seatbelts.

 

  • Never tailgate, especially with a truck! If you leave about a two to four-second interval between you and the vehicle in front under normal conditions, make it six to eight in snowy weather. This should give you ample time to react in case of emergencies.

 

  • Do not hit the brakes when you feel your vehicle sliding. Stay calm, take your foot off the gas, then shift into neutral.

 

  • Don’t forget to use your headlights, particularly during a snowstorm when visibility is low. This helps you see – and be seen by fellow drivers.

Accidents during snowy weather are not only due to carelessness or ice. Other factors such as distractions, equipment failure, and lack of warning could also play a role. When driving through icy roads, it’s best to remain alert and be prepared for anything.

 

Evading Truck Accidents: Mountain Driving in Snowy Weather

If icy roads are tough, mountain roads pose a different kind of challenge. Elevation plus tight curves are just disasters waiting to happen. Before attempting mountain driving in winter, confirm that you the right equipment: from emergency supplies, to tools.

  • Check that you have at least a half tank of gas before heading off.

 

  • Remove snow and ice from your vehicle, especially from the windshield to allow better visibility.

 

  • Carry a winter survival kit that contains (a minimum of) food, water, emergency flashers, jumper cables, flashlight, and a first aid kit.

 

  • Slow down when approaching mountain curves.

 

  • Observe other vehicles. If you see trucks exiting a highway before reaching a mountain pass, it could be due to blockage or other issues in that area. Remain alert and scan your surroundings.

 

These are just a few of driving safety tips that you should observe during snowy weather.

When it comes to ice and snow, you can never be too safe. If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a truck accident due to winter conditions, reach out to a New York trucking accident lawyer immediately. Take advantage of a free consultation for your benefit.

Brace Yourself: Winter Weather and Truck Accidents

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It’s no coincidence that vehicle incidents increase with the onset of winter weather. But it’s not just snow that makes the roads so dangerous during this time of year.

Shorter days and longer, colder nights make it tough for vehicles, especially trucks, to travel. It’s extra demanding for big rigs due to their massive size, kinds of load, and tight schedules. That’s why they may seem unforgiving while sharing the highway with other motorists.

If you can’t help but be on the road when snow falls, here are a few things to keep in mind:

 

What Makes Winter Weather Driving Challenging

There are three major threats during the colder months:

Shorter daylight. People have this vision of enjoying a warm, cozy night by the fireplace during winter weather. But if you need to drive for hours on end, it’s anything but comfy. As days become shorter, there’s less sunlight to lift mood and give a vitamin D boost. If you feel wearier or ‘lonelier’ during this time of the year, you may not be imagining it.

Experts call it Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and it comes from less exposure to sunlight. It can alter mood, and een sleeping patterns. Truckers in general are already stressed by their strict schedules. Couple that with energy spent fighting off the cold and you get exhausted drivers that may cause truck accidents.

Freezing temperatures. Depending on where you live, snow and ice will build up on your vehicle. Before driving, be sure to remove them for better visibility. If you’re driving with big rigs, stay cautious and avoid their blind spots whenever possible. If you can let them pass first, allow them to do so. Trying to race with an 18-wheeler in six feet of snow is a bad idea.

Remember: with colder temperatures mean lower visibility. If there’s a snow storm, other trucks or the wind might blow up more snow onto a truck’s windshield. If the driver doesn’t see you in time, you could end up in a collision, or in a ditch. Even if your area is not experiencing a lot of snow, practice caution as ice and snow can still present challenges when driving.

Physical/emotional changes.  With winter weather come a shift in mindset and emotional states. As mentioned earlier, one of things you need to be aware of during this time is SAD. Feeling unusually lethargic or weary is one of its symptoms. For some people, this condition can be debilitating.

To combat the depressing effects of cold weather, keep yourself healthy. Exercise and eat a balanced diet, rich in vitamin D (e.g. milk, cheese, egg yolks, orange juice, and cereals). Truckers who are on tight schedules should still try their best to get the right amount of nutrients to fight off exhaustion. Make it a habit to carry snacks like granola bars, cereals, soy milk, or tuna during your travels.

 

Stay Safe on the Road Despite the Cold

Unless absolutely necessary, stay indoors to avoid having to battle with snow and ice during winter months.

If you need to drive for long periods, make sure you’re well rested. Plan for breaks and make frequent stops as necessary. Avoid truck accidents by maintaining your speed and distance from them. Practice defensive driving.

Winter weather can be unforgiving – so do your part in keeping yourself safe.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a trucking accident in Maryland, contact a legal professional immediately. Take advantage of a free consultation for your case. Get in touch with the experts today.

Equipment Failure: A Hidden Prologue To Truck Accidents

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One of the most common causes of truck accidents is equipment failure. One minute, you’re quietly sharing the road with a semi; next thing you know, it seems to have lost control of the brakes and you’re about to get hit. When it comes to such cases of truck accidents, they’re quick and fatal. Blink and you might miss it.

Vehicles involved in these incidents are lucky to sustain only minor injuries. As equipment failure is often undetectable even to truck drivers, you would really be caught unaware.

Knowing what to watch out for, no matter how small, could help save your life. Learn the basics of equipment failure in big rigs and how to stay safe from them.

 

What Makes Equipment Failure So Dangerous

One of the biggest dangers is that, when one – or more – of the truck’s mechanisms fails, several motorists are put in danger. For instance: an 18-wheeler truck with failed brakes can careen out of control and collide with a few vehicles along the road. Even if the driver tries to steer it to safety, due to its massive size, it’s bound to hit cars or passersby.

But threat begins even before a truck can hit the road.

Some manufacturing defects for example, can be left undetected during a routine inspection. Perhaps the biggest hazard is when trucking companies fail to do it. Even if the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires proper regular inspection and maintenance, there are trucking companies that send out unsafe trucks on the road.

Aside from failed brakes, other types of equipment failure include:

  • Defective steering device
  • Burned out head/tail lights
  • Tire blowouts or separated treads
  • Failed suspension
  • Transmission or engine failure
  • Improper trailer attachment

In a truck accident case, it can be complex trying to prove that it was equipment failure that caused the collision. There are other factors that could have contributed to the incident. There’s driver error, bad weather conditions, and the possible liability of the manufacturer(s).

 

For Your Safety

Keep these two main points in mind everyday, especially when driving with big rigs:

Practice defensive driving. According to the National Safety Council’s Defensive Driving Course, defensive driving is “driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others”. This means NEVER assuming that other drivers, such as those of big rigs, are just as alert and sober as you are.

For example: if a semi truck is preparing to turn right and you’re following behind, don’t assume that nothing will go wrong. The truck might turn over, lose control, or slam into other vehicles. If you don’t practice defensive driving, you’ll be caught off guard when drivers don’t do what you expect.

Always carry an emergency kit. Whenever possible, be prepared by taking the right precautions for your own safety. An emergency kit for your car should have the following:

  • First aid kit
  • Tool kit (screwdriver, pliers, jumper cables, hex keys, etc.)
  • AAA or roadside emergency card
  • tire inflator
  • flashlight with fresh batteries

These are just a few of what you should always have inside your car. Other useful equipment to have is dash cams, to record any incident that might happen while on the road. If you can afford it, a fire extinguisher is also a sound investment.

 

Truck accidents involving equipment failure can be tricky. That’s because you would need a team of experts to prove that a) the equipment really was defective or malfunctioned during the time of the incident; and b) establish liability. Here’s where the services of a trusted trucking accident lawyer would be necessary.

Choose someone with years of experience and dozens of cases won. Make sure he or she also has the best team to help you uncover the truth. If you or someone you know has been involved in a truck accident and you suspect that equipment failure is to blame, call an expert today.

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