The Risks of Stopping Your Truck by the Roadside

According to an estimate report from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the first three quarters of 2021 saw more than 31,000 people die in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This number is the highest during the first nine months of every year since 2006.

A separate report from the National Safety Council, meanwhile, shows that in 2020, around 4,843 large trucks were involved in a fatal crash. These account for 9% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes.

While the number was an improvement from the year prior, almost 5,000 fatal accidents involving large trucks are still very alarming. Unfortunately, this doesn’t just happen with trucks that are on the road. Stopping roadside can be as dangerous, if not more so, especially for heavy-duty trucks and other large vehicles.

For example, when you have a truck that gets stalled on the road, you will naturally want to check and fix the problem before calling roadside assistance. However, stopping at the side of the road can present hazards not just to you, but to your vehicle and other drivers, too.

Underride Accidents

Underride accidents are one of the most common hazards when large trucks stop at the side of the road.

These accidents occur when a smaller passenger vehicle collides with a semi-truck and the vehicle runs under the truck. This happens when trucks are parked at the roadside and can result in serious injury or, worse, fatality, particularly for the drivers and passengers of the smaller vehicle.

Even if the smaller passenger vehicle is the one that crashes into or runs under a truck, the truck driver and the trucking company bear some responsibility for the accidents. Unless it’s an emergency, truck drivers should not stop along the roadside.

How to Prevent Roadside Hazards

Trucks that are stopped on the side of the road, especially at night, face and pose huge safety risks. To prevent these, make sure to practice these safety tips:

  •     Get off the road

The moment you notice something amiss with your truck, find a safe spot to pull over. Emergency breakdown lanes, as well as parking lots, are the most ideal.

The most important thing, though, is to get out of traffic and find an area that doesn’t require other vehicles to get around your vehicle. This minimizes the risk of underride accidents and other road mishaps from oncoming traffic.

car parked in the roadside

  •     Make your vehicle visible.

It’s not enough to get your truck off the road: you also have to make sure it’s visible to other drivers, especially if it breaks down during nighttime.

Turn your truck’s hazard lights on and activate the parking lights. You can also place red warning triangles or orange cones around your vehicle.

  •     Call roadside assistance.

Once you’ve parked your truck safely, call for emergency roadside assistance right away. Inform the dispatcher what happened and tell them your location so they can send a tow truck to rescue you and your stalled truck.

Get Help from Towing Professionals

ATL Heavy Towing and Recovery is a towing company in Atlanta that provides 24/7 heavy-duty towing services. When it comes to semi-truck, bus, and motor home towing, trust in our experienced drivers to take care of it for you.

Call us at 470-460-0785 for a free quote.

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