With traffic down due to stay-at-home orders across the United States, truck drivers have taken over the roadways. While this is helpful for keeping our stores and hospitals in stock, it also creates some dangerous situations.
Now more than ever before, you need to know how to drive safely around large trucks.
To help you stay safe on the road, our team at the Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, P.C. has put together the guide below.
When Driving Around Large Trucks, Stay Out of Blind Spots
Large trucks have enormous blind spots on all 4 sides of their vehicle, and you should slow down, move ahead, or otherwise take care to avoid them. Truckers cannot see vehicles within 30 feet of their taillights, nor can they see cars that are less than 20 feet ahead. On the right, truck drivers cannot see vehicles directly next to them nor cars that are one lane over. Trucks have smaller blind spots on the left, which is why you should always pass on the left. Speaking of passing…
Always Pass Large Trucks Safely
Before you pass, make sure you can see the driver in their mirrors. If you cannot see the truck driver, they may not be able to see your vehicle. Before passing, signal clearly, move into the left lane, and pass the truck as quickly and safely as possible. Do not linger in the blind spots (see above) and always give large trucks extra safe. Whatever you do…
Do Not “Cut Off” a Large Truck
Because of their size and weight, loaded semi-trucks take 20 to 40% farther than passenger vehicles to stop. If you pull in front of a truck, the driver may not be able to stop in time. If you are rear-ended by a large truck, your vehicle could slip underneath the vehicle or be completely crushed. Always make sure the truck is fully visible in your rearview mirror before you change lanes in front of them.
Avoid Tailgating Tractor-Trailers
Similarly, you should never tailgate a large truck. If you are too close to a truck, the driver will not be able to see you and you may not have enough time to stop in case of an emergency.
Drivers who rear-end a large truck rarely survive due to the threat of underride accidents. Even if you are not at fault, a multi-car pileup could force you underneath a large truck and cause serious injury or death.
Give Large Trucks Extra Time and Space
Large trucks need extra space to turn. Give it to them. A truck driver may start a turn from the middle lane or swing into the lane next to them. Do not try to squeeze past a turning truck and be never put yourself between a turning truck and the curb.
In general, be patient with large trucks. The limitations of these vehicles can be frustrating, but they are also what make large trucks so dangerous. Honking or aggressive driving will not help – and it can cause an accident.
Prioritize Safety in Your Own Vehicle
Whether you are driving around large trucks or not, you should always make safety a priority when you are behind the wheel. Make sure you and your passengers wear seatbelts, stay focused on the road, pull over or switch drivers if you feel tired, and never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
No matter how cautious you are around large trucks, you cannot control the behavior of truck drivers. If a drowsy or intoxicated driver causes a truck accident, you have the right to seek legal help.
After a truck accident, make sure you get the medical attention you need and call the Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, P.C. to support your recovery. Our attorneys have over 30 years of combined experience, are available 24/7, and offer free consultations.
Don’t wait to get help – tell us what happened today at (866) 590-8173 or online.