There has been an alarming rise in truck accidents in St. Louis. This could be a result of high truck traffic in the area, but there could be other reasons as well. This includes a lack of proper truck maintenance, a high number of road hazards, or demanding work schedules for truck drivers. There are several local and federal truck accident prevention programs in St. Louis; however, only time will tell if these initiatives will help reduce the frequency or severity of truck accidents. Here are some of the initiatives, programs, and organizations that help prevent truck accidents in the city.
St. Louis Defensive Driving Programs
One of the best ways to minimize truck accidents is to teach and promote defensive driving techniques. The St. Louis Regional Traffic Safety Council offers a wide range of defensive driving programs for all types of drivers. The duration of the programs ranges from 4 hours to 8 hours. The St. Louis Regional Traffic Safety Council also offers specialist driving programs for 15-passenger van drivers, emergency vehicle drivers, and others.
With the rise in demand for online classes, the St. Louis Regional Traffic Safety Council also offers on-demand personal learning path programs with learning modules. There is a specific driving course for young adults or newly licensed drivers. The course offers behind-the-wheel training.
There is also the St. Louis Vehicle Injury Prevention (VIP) Program by Think Health St. Louis. The primary objective of this program is to encourage the use of restraints while driving, such as seat belts and car seats, to minimize the severity of injuries in auto accidents.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Initiatives
A high percentage of truck accidents happen on highways and interstates. To help prevent truck accidents, the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) offers highway safety programs statewide, including St. Louis. These educational programs are available at no cost.
One of the programs includes a rollover simulation to allow participants to visually experience the effects of a rollover on crash test dummies. The objective is to demonstrate the importance of driving within the speed limits and using seat belts.
No-Zone (CMV Education)
The No-Zone (CMV Education) program has been designed to prevent trucking accidents in all U.S. cities, including St. Louis. More specifically, the No-Zone program focuses on preventing truck accidents that happen due to blind spots. The No-Zone initiative is supported by the Missouri Trucking Association (MTA), which is actively involved in increasing awareness of the program.
Blindspots are the areas of the vehicle where the driver has no visibility. They can’t see the blindspot through the side or rearview mirrors. The driver will have to look over their shoulder to ensure their blind spot is clear. However, looking over their shoulder might work for drivers of passenger vehicles, but it is less effective when driving a large commercial truck. This is because the blind spot for a large commercial truck is a “No-Zone ”, which means that the driver is not able to see that spot no matter what they do.
While truck drivers are aware of their blind spots, as they have limited visibility, the chances of a collision with a vehicle in the blind spot are high. Therefore, drivers also need to be vigilant when driving in the No-Zone of a commercial truck.
National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS)
The National Roadway Safety Strategy is an initiative by the U.S. Department of Transportation. This initiative aims to address the rise in serious injuries and fatalities from auto accidents. As this is a nationwide program, the NRSS is expected to have a major impact on the prevention of truck accidents in St. Louis.
The American Trucking Association (ATA) has pledged to support and advance the initiative by increasing outreach to younger drivers, increasing motorist awareness of safe driving practices, and working with highway maintenance and construction companies toward better safety objectives.
More Crash Avoidance Technology in Trucks
The high center of gravity and massive weight of a truck make it dangerous on the road, especially on interstates and curved roadway segments, such as ramps. Despite the high number of truck accidents in Missouri, there is still a need for more regulatory intervention. For example, many trucks are not required to have crash avoidance technology. One of the most common truck accidents is when the truck rear-ends other vehicles, but very few have the technology to help avoid such accidents. While electronic stability control has been required on all trucks since 2019, more regulatory oversight is needed to help prevent truck accidents.
What To Do If You Get Into a Truck Accident
The steps to follow after a truck accident are similar to any other auto accident. However, truck accidents are often more serious than car accidents. The occupants of small vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists are likely to suffer serious injuries in truck accidents. Your first step is to ensure you and others involved in the accident get the medical attention they need. Then you need to notify the law enforcement agencies. Once you are in stable condition, you should contact a lawyer and start building your case to recover compensation for your suffering. If you were not at fault, you may be entitled to economic and noneconomic compensation for the accident.
Legal Recourse After a Truck Accident in St. Louis
Even with all the initiatives and programs to prevent truck accidents in St. Louis, you could still be involved in one. If the accident happened due to the other party’s negligence, you have the legal right to pursue compensation for your medical expenses, property damage, emotional trauma, and other expenses.
If you want to get full and fair compensation for your damages, consider hiring a St.Louis Missouri personal injury lawyer with experience in truck accident cases. They can guide you on the most suitable legal recourse in the aftermath of the accident. The attorney can help you navigate all the legal steps to recover compensation, including filing a claim, gathering evidence, negotiating with the insurance company, and calculating your damages, if a settlement is not reached, they can help you file a lawsuit and represent you in court.