Indiana citizens depend on long-haul truckers to move goods into, out of, and around the state, but those big vehicles also present serious dangers on the roads. Regulations exist to protect drivers, but you can also take steps to keep yourself safe.
What You Need to Know About Indiana Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can be fatal
- 10.4% of all fatal collisions involve large trucks.
- 97% of fatal collisions with commercial vehicles involve large trucks.
- 88% of large trucks involved in fatal collisions were in a multi-vehicle crash.
When truck accidents occur
- The highest number of large truck collisions happened in June
- Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the most dangerous days of the week for large truck collisions.
- 48% of large truck crash deaths happen between 6:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
The Most Common Types of Truck Accidents in Indiana
The truck skids and folds at the connection between the cab and the trailer. It could also collide with several lanes of traffic.
Trucks may collide with vehicles that stay in their blind spots.
A truck brakes suddenly and a smaller vehicle behind it can’t stop in time and slides underneath the truck’s undercarriage.
If a truck driver isn’t paying close enough attention they can rear-end a smaller car, which could be fatal.
Lost cargo accidents
Improperly loaded trucks can lose their cargo at highway speeds, causing hazardous obstacles for other vehicles.
A truck can roll over if the driver takes a turn or curve too fast. Nearby vehicles are at risk of being crushed.
Commercial Trucking Laws in Indiana
In Indiana, cars can drive at 70 mph on interstate highways in rural areas. Trucks must drive at 65 mph on the interstate.
Commercial trucks must stay in the right lane when traveling on interstate highways in Indiana. The only exceptions are when passing another vehicle, entering or exiting the highway, or avoiding a road hazard. Commercial trucks are allowed to use the two far-right lanes on three-lane highways.
Commercial truck drivers in Indiana need a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). The requirements to get a CDL and become a commercial driver in Indiana are:
- Have a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) for 14 days
- Complete entry-level driver training
- Pass the vehicle inspection test
- Pass the basic controls test
- Pass the road test
- Driving records inspection from the last 10 years
- Background check from the trucking company
Driving shift limits
There are limits to how long commercial truck drivers can stay behind the wheel. They can’t drive more than 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty. They must also take an off-duty period of at least 30 minutes every 8 hours.
Safety Tips: Avoid Truck Accidents on Indiana Roads
Maintain a safe distance
Bigger vehicles need more space. Don’t follow too closely behind a commercial vehicle. It decreases the driver’s chances of seeing you.
Always signal your turn
Don’t make driving near trucks a guessing game. When you change lanes, put your turn signal on so the truck driver can clearly see you.
Pass trucks with caution
Be careful when passing a large truck. Allow plenty of space between you and the truck when you change lanes.
Stay out of blind spots
A large truck’s blind spots are usually right behind it. If you stay in this spot, the truck driver may not see you.
Don’t drive distracted
Put down your phone, turn down the radio, and eliminate distractions while driving. Not paying attention is a frequent cause of truck collisions.