Semi-trucks, flatbeds, tankers, and other types of big rigs are common sights along roads running in and around Portland. For other motorists, sharing the roads with truckers poses significant risks. In the event of truck accidents, they are the ones most likely to suffer serious personal injuries. Truck drivers and the companies they work for can both be held accountable, but there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk. Knowing common truck danger zones is one of them.
Truck Danger Zones
According to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), as many as 1,500 truck accidents happen on roads throughout the state each year. While not all are considered major crashes, they do have the potential to involve other motorists. Even in relatively minor cases, potentially life-threatening personal injuries can happen as a result.
For drivers, it is important to be aware of these risks and to know the places in which truck accidents are most likely to happen. The following are five common areas:
- On narrow roadways.
While truckers tend to stick to major highways and interstates as much as possible, there are situations in which they must travel along narrow overpasses and on local roads. Any situation in which lanes are smaller or do not have pullovers on the side puts motorists at greater risk, particularly when truckers are going around curves.
- Along each side of a truck.
Driving directly alongside a truck is always dangerous, regardless of the type of road you are on. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) calls these ‘no zones’, as they are areas in which motorists disappear from the driver’s views. This creates a major risk in the event the truck switches lanes. No zones generally extend along the entire length of the truck on the left side, and across several lanes when traveling on the right.
- Directly in front.
In addition to no-zones alongside a truck, drivers have a difficult time seeing motorists that are directly in front of them as well. They also have difficulty stopping in time in the event of sudden traffic tie-ups and in situations where other drivers cut them off.
- Directly behind.
It is easy to get frustrated at the occasionally slow place at which truckers travel, however, tailgating them is a bad idea. In the event of a truck, it is possible for a car to go directly underneath the trailer. While safety bars are required to prevent this, not all trucks adhere to these guidelines.
- In areas under construction.
Work Zone Safety warns that areas under construction are one of the most common places for truck accidents to happen. Increased distraction, uneven lanes, traffic tie-ups, and hazards in the roadway all increase truck accident risks.
Let Our Experienced Team Help You Today
At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we help victims of truck accidents get the compensation they are entitled to for their injuries. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland truck accident attorneys online and request a consultation today.