Commercial trucks can be very dangerous things on the highway, or any road for that matter. Given their substantial power and size, collisions involving smaller vehicles usually leads to heartbreaking consequences.
Commercial truck drivers go through rigorous training to avoid accidents just to get their license, but they can’t prevent everything. Motorists driving those smaller vehicles need to be aware of how to avoid truck accidents too. Keep reading to learn the fundamentals of how you can accomplish this while on the roadways.
You might be so used to seeing the backs of trucks say things like “If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you” that you don’t even read them anymore. It’s true, though. Commercial truck drivers usually can’t see the 20 feet right in front of their trucks, 30 feet behind their trucks, two lanes wide on their side, or the driver’s side next lane going back half the length of the trailer. In all these places, their visibility is difficult or even nonexistent.
Be cautious whenever you’re passing a commercial truck. They can’t maneuver or stop as easily or quickly as your smaller vehicle. Try to avoid passing when heading uphill or coming downhill, as these are times when trucks might have sudden changes in speed. Pass on the left if you can so the driver can see you more easily, and never merge in front of a truck unless you can clearly see the driver in your mirror, so you know he can see you. View this infographic on the top causes of trucking accidents to see more about the different things that will cause truck accidents.
Always give off clear signals. Do this when you are going to pass, turn, or change lanes. Clear signals let truck drivers have some idea what you’re going to do, giving them enough time to make their own adjustments. Sudden changes without warning might not leave a truck driver the time they need to avoid hitting you.
Give trucks a lot of space. Don’t hang around a truck too long. Tire blowouts on the truck can impact your windshield. A truck that brakes suddenly might tip over or be something you slide under. High winds can mean a truck rolls over.
Stay at least 4 seconds behind a truck, and do not pass a truck on the right if it’s making a right turn.
Don’t use your bright headlights. High beams might annoy other car drivers, but commercial truck drivers might get blinded by them given the size of their mirrors.
If traffic is slowing down or even stopping, don’t merge in front of the truck. A truck slows down faster than you do, and you don’t want to be in his braking zone. If any commercial truck is passing you, decelerate just a bit so that the passing time of the truck goes faster.
Don’t get distracted, since that raises your risk considerably. Keep your hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road, and your mind on what you’re doing. Pay no attention to noisy passengers, food and beverage, or your smartphone. Text messages can wait until you are stopped somewhere. If you are in a serious trucking accident, you will need the services of a top personal injury lawyer like Lakota Denton who focuses on truck accident law.