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Semi-truck Accidents: Common Causes

If you are going on a long road trip, it is not uncommon to come across semi-truck accidents. These vehicles are very large and heavy. Because of this, they can be dangerous for their drivers as well as other people on the road. While many things can happen on the road, there are a few common causes of truck accidents.

Semi-truck Accidents: What Can Cause Them?

Driver Fatigue

One of the most common causes of semi-truck accidents is driver fatigue. It is not uncommon for truck drivers to have to drive 1000s of miles in a few days. Many truck drivers are paid based on the number of miles they drive. Due to that, it is lucrative for truck drivers to drive further distances in a smaller time period. The more miles they cram in, the more money they can make. 

There are rules that regulate the number of hours that a driver can drive per day. Additionally, there are rules for how often and how long they must take breaks. It is important for these drivers to take breaks and be well-rested.

Driver Distractions

Additionally, it is easy for a cell phone, GPS, food, and many other things to distract drivers. Distractions are a cause semi-truck accidents. Since their trips can be long, truck drivers can get distracted. Therefore, truck drivers should try and avoid as many distractions as possible. For example, drivers should avoid using their cell phones or messing with their GPS while driving. Not paying attention to the road could end up costing someone their life.

Driver Inexperience

Another common reason for a semi-truck accidents is driver inexperience or inadequate training. In some cases, new drivers can be on the road immediately after finishing their trucking courses. This is because inexperienced drivers are going to provide cheaper labor than experienced ones. Unfortunately, this could lead to these drivers being unfamiliar with their assigned truck. If this is the case, errors are more likely to happen. More training could lead to fewer accidents.

A driver may not know how to properly control their truck if they are not used driving a very large, heavy vehicle. This could include speeding, or taking turns or curves too sharply. Since trucks are very heavy, they will also brake much differently than a regular car will. It may take a new truck driver some time to improve his or her driving skills.

Loading Issues 

Some semi-truck accidents can actually come from poorly loaded cargo. Sometimes, incorrectly loaded cargo can lead to an improperly weighted truck. This could cause the truck to be difficult to maneuver. It could also lead a truck to jack-knife, potentially causing serious injuries.

There are many factors that could lead to semi-truck accidents. However, proper training, correct loading, fewer distractions and rested drivers could all help to reduce the number of trucking accidents.

Sport Mode: Using Little Known Features

Many modern cars come with a range of different “modes” to alter their performance. If there’s one mode many drivers don’t understand, it’s sport mode. Therefore, it’s helpful to know what this mode does, how it works, and when it’s best for you to use it…

Sport Mode: Optimize Car Performance

What it does

Drivers can usually turn on sport mode by pressing a button or twisting a dial. You might wonder, then, just how much the mode can change? In fact, it actually does change your car’s performance in three distinct areas: the engine, transmission, and suspension.

In this mode, your car’s engine will be more “sensitive” to the throttle, increasing its acceleration. It’ll also increase revving capacity by extend the automatic shift points in your car’s transmission. You’ll notice too that the suspension tightens up and will feel a bit more “stiff.” This improves performance on paved surfaces, especially on highways.

Use in cars

In the past, you’d usually only find sport mode as an option in higher-end cars. The most common usage was in sports cars, hence the name. However, recently many other cars have had this mode included stock. For instance, tucks, SUVs, and even minivans can all be found with sport mode features!

No matter the car, the results of the mode are generally the same: your car becomes more responsive than when you drive it regularly. This is why so many manufactures are including it in all their vehicles. Plenty of drivers describe the mode as “fun” or “thrilling”, so having it included gives them another feature to draw customers in with.

Potential downsides

While sport mode does come with some improvements, it also has some downsides. The increased engine power will mean more gas consumption. This will lessen the usual MPG that your car gets compared to when driving it normally. Plus, the extra performance can mean extra wear on your engine and tires.

You also need to make sure that you’re aware of when you should use sport mode. Using it in poor weather conditions and on roads with sharp curves/turns can be risky. Instead, it’s safest to use it on days with clear weather and on more open and straight roads.

Make Money While on Workers Comp

You may be looking at ways to make money while on workers comp. If you’re injured and unable to work, you will likely only receive two-thirds of your regular pay. Keep in mind, working a second job or a side-job could affect your benefits. Check with your policy and laws before deciding to proceed. 

Make Money While on Workers Comp: Ideas to Make Money

Sell Your Clutter

You can make money while on workers comp plus clean out your house at the same time. Platforms like eBay, Poshmark and Facebook Marketplace are a great place to cash in on things you are not using. Poshmark is more focused on clothing items, while eBay and Facebook Marketplace are for just about anything. 

Rent Out a Room

If you have a spare room in your home, and feel comfortable doing so, you could rent it out on Airbnb to make money while on workers comp. This works best if you live in or near a big city, or an attraction of some sort. Beaches, state or national parks, or other scenic areas are top spots for people to want to rent a room. Don’t forget to check the rules of where you live to make sure you are allowed to put your place on Airbnb.

Take Surveys

There are plenty of websites where you can take surveys for cash. This is an easy way to make some extra money while on workers comp while on your phone or computer. Surveys will range in length and pay, but there’s money to be made.

Become a Driver

With rideshares growing in popularity, you can become a driver to bring in extra money. Rideshare services like Lyft and Uber are options you can look into. These services have branched into food delivery as well, which will give another money making opportunity. Of course this is all dependent on what type of injury you have sustained. 

Etsy

If you’re crafty, you could make extra money by selling items on Etsy. This site is great for arts and crafts. From jewelry to paintings, and handmade cards to sticker decals, there is a little bit of everything on Etsy.

If you need to make some extra money while on workers comp, there are plenty of options available. Your options may be limited due to the type of injury you have, and the rules surrounding your claim.

Highway Driving: First-Time Prep

For new drivers, highway driving can be the cause of a lot of anxiety. The faster speeds and increased traffic can make them worry about if they’ll be able to manage. However, keeping a few important things in mind can help them ease into it and get more comfortable…

Highway Driving: Pull It Off Safely

Pick a good time

Timing is very important for a person’s first highway driving experience. For instance, you won’t want to practice your driving early in the morning or late in the afternoon. This is when there’s a lot of heavy traffic as people are rushing to and from work. You’ll also want to make sure the weather is good before doing any driving.

In general, it’s good to try and practice say in the mid-afternoon, when not too many people will be driving. Ideally, this will also be on a bright and clear day without any risks of rain, snow, or fog. That way, you can clearly see and won’t feel as much pressure.

Stick to the right lane

Your lane choice is also important for when you start doing highway driving. The right lane is intended to be the general travel lane. This is where most drivers should be while on the highway. The left lane is the passing lane, allowing for other drivers to pass ahead if say there’s an accident, or if someone is going well below the speed limit.

For a new driver, it’s best they stay in the right lane. That way, they can stick to the speed limit without worrying about those behind them getting frustrated. Should they ever need to use the left lane, it should only be to pass someone. After that, they’ll want to get back into the right lane.

Keep calm and focused

The biggest thing about highway driving is staying calm and focused on the road. It’s important not to take things personally when driving out there. For example, if someone cuts them you off, don’t get upset. Instead, let it go. It could be the case that they genuinely did it by mistake!

Also, avoid unnecessary distractions while you drive. This especially includes your cell phone. Things can change very quickly on the highway, so you always need to give it your full attention.

Driving Safety: RV and Motorhomes

With airports and cruise lines being closed around the world due to Covid-19, many people are turning to domestic road trips this year. Recreational Vehicles (RVs) and Motorhomes are quickly growing in popularity due to safety concerns and regulations associated with public transportation, hotels and restaurants. RV driving safety is very important to familiarize yourself with. These vehicles are much larger than what many people are used to driving.

Driving Safety: RV Driving Tips

Get Familiar with Your RV for Your Safety

Just as you practiced when you first started driving a car, it’s important to practice driving safety in an RV. You should definitely do this before taking it on a long road trip. Find a wide open parking lot, and practice driving, turning, backing up and parking. For inexperienced drivers, it may be necessary to have someone stand outside of the RV and help direct you while navigating into a parking spot. In the meanwhile, get familiar with its size and weight. Since an RV is heavier than a car, they will be harder and slower to stop when breaking. The turning radius will be bigger as well, so practice getting comfortable with wider turns.

Also, make note of your RV’s height. This will be important when deciding if there is enough clearance to pass under an overpass or overhang. Oftentimes, bank and fast-food drive-thrus are not tall enough for an RV to pass under. A quick tip is to write down the height of the RV and tape it somewhere it will be easily visible while driving. 

Practice Safe Driving Habits in an RV

Since RVs are taller and have a different weight distribution than a car, be you may have to adjust your driving habits. Taking sharp turns too quickly could cause an RV to flip over or lose control. This could also cause pull behind camper vans could fishtail, which could lead to an accident. An important driving safety tip is to be mindful of speed limits and weather conditions. Keep in mind that oftentimes RVs may need to drive slower than other cars on the road. 

Gas Station Safety in an RV 

Driving safety is important to remember at gas stations. This can be a tricky pit stop for inexperienced RV drivers. First, gas stations often have tight turns and small spaces. In addition, canopy height may be too low for your RV to fit under. Plan gas stops carefully, keeping in mind that truck stops may be more RV friendly than traditional gas stations. 

With more people hitting the road in RVs this year, it’s important to make sure to be comfortable with RV safety before heading on a trip. By taking time to practice, following road rules and adjusting to road conditions, and knowing where your RV can and can’t fit, you’ll set yourself up for a safer and more enjoyable vacation.