Driving near trucks or any large commercial vehicle can be a dangerous experience. Taking the right safety measures could save your life. Even if the truck driver is at fault, it is important to give yourself the best chance possible of avoiding a serious truck accident. Here are some tips to help you stay safe and avoid accidents.
Beware of Blind Spots
The larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spots; which is why giving trucks space is so essential. The blind spot on the driver’s side is as wide as a lane, stretching to the back end of the trailer. On the passenger side, a truck driver’s blind spot is generally two lanes width and extends just beyond the back side of the trailer.
Believe it or not, a truck’s blind spot at the front of the vehicle stretches 20 feet from the bumper. The rear blind spot is a whopping 30 feet behind the truck. All a truck’s blind spots are part of what’s known as the “no zone.” In case it isn’t obvious what that means: Driving in a truck’s blind spots is never a good idea.
It is also important to note that the larger mirrors on a truck can contribute to an accident. If you do not dim your lights to a low-beam as you approach or pass a truck, you risk blinding the driver as the light reflects off the truck’s mirrors.
Safely Pass Trucks
When passing a truck, approach from the left to keep all parties safe. Make sure to maintain consistent speed and signal your intention to pass early enough so that the truck driver can see you. Remember the blind spot at the front of the truck as you attempt to merge back into the lane in front. Check your rearview mirror before merging to ensure it is safe to do so.
If a truck is attempting to pass you, slow down so that the driver is able to merge back into the lane with plenty of space. Remember, maneuvers in a truck are more difficult than with a smaller vehicle.
Give Trucks Time
As a general rule, give trucks time to perform maneuvers. Whether you intend to pass a truck or the truck is trying to pass you, extra time is needed. The same principle applies to giving trucks the time and space that they need to turn, reverse or stop.
You need to allow trucks time to stop in case of an accident. If you do not keep at least four seconds driving distance between your vehicles, a truck driver may not have time to stop if there is a rear-ending accident. This could result in your vehicle being trapped below the trailer and precious seconds wasted before the truck driver applies the brakes.
You will also need time to react to any issues that the truck driver or the vehicle itself may experience. Getting caught too close to a truck that suffers a blowout or jackknifes could prove catastrophic.
If you have been in a truck accident that was caused by the other driver, reach out to the offices of Ligori & Sanders Attorneys at Law for a free consultation.
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