Dealing with the busy streets of St. Louis demands keen attention to the city’s traffic and rules. It doesn’t matter if you’re a daily commuter or a visitor exploring the Gateway City, prioritizing accident prevention is going to be important.
In this guide, we’ll delve into three specific tips to enhance safety and avoid truck-related accidents on St. Louis roads. Whether it be through defensive driving techniques or deliberate precautions when sharing the road, each recommendation should hopefully keep you safe out there.
1. Know That Trucks Have Large Blindspots
Anyone who’s been to St. Louis knows that the city has a significant trucking presence. Did you know that the city has over 2,168 trucking companies? As such, you are likely to see quite a few semis hauling cargo all the time. For first-time drivers, you want to remember that trucks often have dangerously poor visibility and blind spots.
These blind spots, often referred to as “no-zones,” exist on the sides, directly behind, and in front of the truck. The first and foremost rule when sharing the road with trucks is to avoid lingering in their blind spots. If you can’t see the truck driver in their side mirrors, it’s likely they can’t see you.
Keep this in mind when you are trying to pass a truck. You want to do it swiftly and decisively. Signal your intention well in advance, accelerate to pass promptly, and return to the original lane once you can see the entire truck in your rearview mirror. Once again, don’t stay too long in their blind spots.
You should also remember that trucks require more space to maneuver, particularly when making turns. TorHoerman Law rightly notes that trucks don’t have the ability to change lanes quickly.
Thus, avoid squeezing between the truck and the curb, especially when a truck is making a right turn. It may need to swing wide to complete the maneuver, and you don’t want to get in its way.
2. If an Accident Occurs, Know What to Do
The aftermath of a traffic accident can be a disorienting and stressful experience. This is especially true when the responsibility or fault lies with the truck driver. Dealing with the situation becomes even more complex.
One challenge that you may face is the reluctance of the truck driver to share information, potentially driven by concerns about liability. If they appear to shift the blame or try to evade responsibility, there’s a chance you might need to hire a St. Louis truck accident lawyer.
This is because you will want to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash. This includes gathering evidence, reviewing police reports, obtaining witness statements, and analyzing any available surveillance footage.
The goal is to build a compelling case that establishes the liability of the truck driver and, by extension, their employer or the company they work for. Of course, legal action should be taken very seriously and is only to be used when there is no cooperation from the other party.
3. Watch For Potholes: St.Louis Has Many!
St. Louis is notorious for its bad roads. In fact, there are so many potholes in the city that a dedicated webpage exists for people to report them. If you are sharing the road with a truck and notice a lot of potholes, be extra careful!
Potholes can destabilize a truck, particularly if they strike a deep or poorly patched one. This instability can lead to swerving or sudden maneuvers, potentially endangering nearby vehicles. Furthermore, trucks may struggle to navigate pothole-ridden roads, increasing the likelihood of collisions or loss of control.
A recent survey conducted by the I-Team’s Worst Roads Survey indicates that around 90% of participants in St. Louis express concerns about potholes. Complaints include personal stories of financial losses and safety concerns due to potholes, with one driver claiming over $600 in damages in two months.
Staying safe on St. Louis roads is something that we unfortunately have to prepare extra for. The data shows that the city experiences quite a lot of accidents, especially when it comes to trucks. Residents in St. Louis faced over 2,756 accidents that involved trucks.
That was just for 2022. In the past, crashes were even more common, with figures reaching well over 3,000 truck-related accidents. Thus, knowing how to share the road with trucks will be a critical skill for all drivers in St. Louis.