Unfortunately, there is no Christmas magic involved in delivering the billions of cards and packages that are sent all over the country every year. Our gifts and greetings get to their recipients in a very un-magical way—by thousands of tractor-trailers traversing the same roads and highways that we drive to get to work or to grandmother’s house. The increase in truck traffic also increases the risk of a serious accident involving a truck, which never ends well for the occupants of comparatively small cars, SUVs, and minivans. When you take to the roads this holiday season, be extra cautious of big rigs trying to meet delivery deadlines.

How Many More Trucks Are Out There?

According to one recent estimate, more than a billion packages are delivered each year at Christmas time. The U.S. Postal Back End of an Open Semi-TruckService, UPS, and Fed Ex together hire over 150,000 temporary workers to help meet this demand. In 2012, UPS reported that its busiest day of the year was December 20, on which it delivered 28 million packages, nearly double its normal daily delivery of 15.8 million packages. Fed Ex reported December 17 as its busiest day of 2012, with almost 20 million deliveries, six times its normal delivery load. The USPS estimates that it will deliver over 15.5 billion cards, letters, and packages in 2015, up 10 percent from last year. Most of this mail will travel at least part of its journey by semi-truck.

Drive Safely Around Big Trucks

If you find yourself out on the highways this holiday season surrounded by UPS, Fed Ex and USPS tractor trailers, be extra cautious and drive defensively. Be aware that many of these trucks may be driven by less-experienced temporary workers or by experienced drivers under the gun to deliver on time and may drive recklessly as a result. Some good rules of thumb to follow include:

  • Give trucks plenty of space. There are lots of good reasons to keep your distance from trucks. Trucks have large blind spots and cannot see you if you are too close. Truck tires are prone to blowouts and you do not want to be nearby when that happens. A high wind can blow a truck into your lane unexpectedly, so never cruise next to a truck.
  • Pass trucks carefully. To pass a truck, always pass on the left and hug the outside of the lane to give plenty of room. When returning to the right lane in front of the truck, give more space than you would another car.
  • Watch for wide right turns. Watch for truck turn signals and remember that a truck turning right will need to swing left in order to make the turn. Give room to allow for this action.

Have You Been Injured In A Truck Accident?

If you've been injured in a tractor trailer accident you need to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.


James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.
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