Everyone on the road has a responsibility to help prevent trucking accidents. Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining their trucks and for driving and training their drivers. Passenger car drivers have a responsibility to drive safely so that all vehicles can be safe on the roads and so that car accidents can be prevented. Truck drivers have a responsibility to abide by regulations regarding safe truck driving.
Pedestrians, too, however, have a responsibility to help prevent accidents. Unfortunately, in some cases, pedestrians feel that they can ignore some of the basic rules of the road. When pedestrians fail to exercise caution around larger trucks, pedestrian accidents can easily occur. Since pedestrians are so much smaller than trucks, truck drivers may simply not see them in time to react. Pedestrians especially tend to commit a few specific errors around trucks:
1) Trying to get around trucks. Passing a truck is risky, whether you are in a vehicle or walking. Some pedestrians assume that they have time to quickly zip around a truck. Misjudging the speed of a truck, however, is usually a fatal mistake. If you need to walk around a truck that has an engine running, make sure that the truck is not about to back up. Make eye contact with the driver to ensure that they can see you.
2) Pedestrian distractions. Much has been written about driver distractions in recent months and new legislation has been passed to keep some drivers and all truck drivers from driving while distracted by mobile devices. However, pedestrians continue to use mobile devices, headphones, and other distractions while jogging, walking, or bicycling. Unfortunately, these kind of distractions also affect pedestrians. Distracted pedestrians are less likely to notice auditory warning signals from trucks, for example, or lights indicating that a truck is about to back up.
3) Jaywalking or walking in non-pedestrian areas. Construction areas, truck stops, and other areas with trucks are dangerous areas for pedestrians. Truck drivers may not be expecting pedestrians in these areas and therefore may not be watching for pedestrians. Jaywalking is a problem for the same reason – truck drivers may not be expecting to see pedestrians outside of crosswalks and may not be able to stop in time.
4) Not making eye contact. Trucks have many blind spots, and it is difficult to tell whether truck drivers can see you. If you are behind a truck or along the sides of a truck, a driver may not see you. Making eye contact with a driver is the surest way to make sure that a driver sees you.