Top 10 Tips to Avoid Truck Accidents

Portrait of young bearded man with thumbs up standing by his truck. Professional and positive truck driver standing by semi truck vehicle. Transportation services.

If you have ever driven on the highway, you have likely seen 18-wheelers on your drive. You might even have instances where you had to swerve to move out of their path. Commercial trucks have many differences from cars which can make defensive driving difficult. Truck accidents are often more severe than other accidents. Trucks are larger, carrying various types of cargo and traveling at high speeds. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that in 2017, there were 13 fatal truck accidents for every million people. Cesar Ornelas Injury Law can help accident victims in San Antonio. 

Some common reasons for truck accidents 

Before addressing how you can try to prevent a truck accident, you should know the leading causes of semi-truck collisions. Some of the leading causes include the following:

  • Speeding 
  • Following too closely
  • Truck driver fatigue 
  • Impairment 
  • Distracted driving 
  • Inexperience 
  • Mechanical failure 
  • Inclement Weather 
  • Aggressive driving 
  • Misjudging vehicle distance 

Truck drivers are responsible for maintaining their vehicles, staying updated on their training, and working to prevent collisions. When a truck crash happens, there are multiple parties that our truck accident lawyer in San Antonio can hold responsible. 

Liability for truck accidents 

One significant matter Cesar Ornelas Injury Law will focus on when truck accidents happen is a liability. Our legal team will work tirelessly to review insurance policies and evidence to determine who is liable. The possible responsible parties can be:

  • Truck driver 
  • Truck owner 
  • The company that hired the driver 
  • Maintenance company or mechanic 
  • Cargo loading company 
  • Truck manufacturer 
  • State or local government agencies

As you can see, many people can be responsible for your truck accident. It is essential that our San Antonio truck accident lawyer review your case and find the best strategy for pursuing compensation. 

Keep a safe distance from the truck

If you are behind a truck, you will have less visibility of what is in front of them. Since they are so large, it hinders your ability to see construction up ahead, stopped traffic, and other hazards. One way you can help with your visibility is to leave plenty of space between your car and the truck. By leaving additional space, you can have better visibility and space to react to hazards ahead.  

Leave space when passing a truck 

Passing them safely is another way to increase visibility and avoid a truck accident. You must take careful action when passing a truck. They are much larger, meaning they need more distance to stop or maneuver. When passing, you should ensure you have enough space to do so. You should avoid cutting in front of a truck. If conditions are not prime for passing, you should stay in your lane until it is safe. 

Avoid blind spots

Your car has blind spots, and some vehicles have blind spot monitors. Trucks also have blind spots, much larger than a car. Blind spots are dangerous areas where accidents can happen. Some trucks will have signs on the back to help drivers assess where their blind spots are. Stay out of these areas around trucks:

  • 30 feet behind 
  • 20 feet in front 
  • Two lanes wide to their right side 

A trick that can help you avoid blind spots is to look for the truck side mirrors. If you cannot see the mirrors or the truck driver in the mirror, do not pass. If you cannot see them, they cannot see you. Pass on their left, not their right, so it is more likely they will see you and react accordingly. 

Pass quickly 

You might find that you must pass a truck when on the highway. You should take various actions to ensure it is safe to pass. First, you should only pass when you see there is space ahead. Next, if you’re passing, do not linger next to the truck for too long. Pass as swiftly as you can. Truck tire blowouts and rollovers can happen in seconds. The last place you want to be is next to a truck when their vehicle malfunctions. 

Do not play games like “chicken” with trucks 

Some drivers will play dangerous games with other motorists. These games are higher stakes when a truck is involved. The highway is not the place to play “chicken” with a truck. If a truck is trying to pass in front of you, the best thing to do is let them. Even if you have the right of way, do not try to overpower the truck. It could save your life. While staying safe should supersede everything else, truck drivers are not exempt from answering for their reckless actions. Discuss truck driver actions leading to your collision with a truck accident lawyer from Cesar Ornelas Injury Law in San Antonio. 

Use caution when trucks are turning 

When making turns, trucks need more space than others. They make wider turns than cars. Truckers will also have less visibility. When you see a truck approaching an intersection, leave additional space than you believe you need. It is safe to assume that the truck requires a vast amount of the intersection to make a turn. Sometimes truckers will make turns when they do not have enough space. When a truck driver causes an accident, you must speak to a truck accident lawyer. 

Be predictable 

Our cars must communicate with other motorists so everyone can stay safe. Your driving should be predictable. This is especially important when driving near a truck. You should use your signals to inform others, especially trucks, of your intentions. When you see another driver’s signal, you must adjust your driving accordingly. For trucks, signaling is critical. They need more time to adjust their driving. When changing lanes or turning, make sure you use your signal. 

Be cautious when pulling over 

Some truck accidents happen because a truck sideswipes a car pulled over. Find an area with a wide shoulder if you need to pull over. There are often pull-off spots you might be able to use. If you are in an emergency where you cannot be picky about where you pull over, try your best to pull off the road as much as possible. If you are too close to the highway’s edge, get out through the passenger side until help arrives. 

Avoid distractions 

When on the road, all drivers should stay alert and focused. When speaking about distractions, it involves more than your phone. Cell phone usage is a top distraction, but anything taking your focus and attention off driving can be considered a distraction. Other distractions can include noisy passengers, eating, or the GPS. While you might need the GPS to reach your destination, use audible instructions so you are not tempted to look at the screen. 

Before you leave your location:

  1. Plan your trip accordingly.
  2. Ensure you have enough rest and that you have your entertainment set up. If you are hitting the highway for an extended period, set up your music playlist or audiobooks beforehand.
  3. Wait to change playlists or books until you reach a rest stop.
  4. If you are fatigued, plan a stop to get some rest.


Distractions apply to truck drivers as well. When a truck driver’s distractions cause a collision, call Cesar Ornelas Injury Law. 

Pay attention to the weather 

Bad weather can create dangerous roads. Check for current and predicted weather conditions when preparing to hit the road. You can even get alerts for inclement weather like an incoming storm. If there is a severe storm, you can pull over or get off the road until it passes. Inclement weather is a contributing factor in truck accidents. They require more space to react and might not be able to get off the highway as quickly as other vehicles. The best you can do is avoid trucks during a bad storm. 

Truck drivers should prevent collisions, too 

Truck drivers should also take steps to prevent collisions. While you can take appropriate actions, truck drivers should as well. Some tips for truck drivers to avoid crashes include:


  • Plan the drive and stops before hitting the road
  • Conduct a vehicle pre-check 
  • Drive at reasonable speeds 
  • Refrain from driving while impaired 
  • Know what cargo is in the vehicle
  • Follow hours of service rules and get rest 
  • Staying focused on the road and other motorists


Truckers must have adequate training and ensure the vehicle is maintained correctly. The truck and cargo companies also have responsibilities to prevent crashes. When these or other parties are negligent, speak to Cesar Ornelas Injury Law for options. 

Contact a San Antonio truck accident attorney 

There are many ways you can be involved in a truck accident. While you can take all of the advice in this article to avoid a truck accident, you cannot control other drivers. Even cautious drivers can be in accidents. You must take legal action when prevention techniques do not work to stop a truck accident. You should speak to a truck accident attorney during an initial consultation. Call the office of Cesar Ornelas Injury Law to pursue compensation from a negligent truck driver after a collision in San Antonio.


If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, please fill out the form below for your free consultation or call us at: (855) 930-1149

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