Posted on Sunday, February 20th, 2022 at 10:52 am
Trucks are significantly larger, heavier, and more powerful than passenger vehicles. For this reason, accidents with a truck are often more dangerous and deadly than a crash between two cars. Yet, commercial trucks are an important part of the transportation and logistics system in the U.S. As a result, it’s important to drive safely and appropriately around commercial trucks. Here are some key safety tips to help you avoid an accident.
Avoid Blind Spots
A blind spot is an area around your car that cannot be seen while you’re sitting behind the wheel. In a passenger vehicle, this spot is often near the back door of the car on either side. It’s an area that’s not covered by the side-view mirror and the rearview mirror inside the car.
Commercial trucks have more blind spots than passenger vehicles. When possible, it’s important to stay away from these blind spots because it makes it difficult for the truck driver to see your car. These spots include:
- The lane to the left of the truck approximately halfway down the length of the trailer
- 20 ft in front of the truck in the lane to the left or to the right of the truck.
- 30 ft behind the truck in the same lane
- Two lanes wide on the right side of the truck
As a rule of thumb, if you cannot see the truck driver, it likely means that they cannot see you. This includes seeing them in the wide rearview side mirrors on the truck. When you stay within the truck driver’s line of sight, there’s less likely to be an accident. If you, or someone you love has been hurt or killed in a recent truck accident, don’t hesitate to contact Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. today.
Give Trucks Plenty of Room
It’s crucial to give a truck plenty of space while driving on the highway. When you drive too closely it puts you at an increased risk of an accident. For example, commercial trucks can lose tire tread, and when the remnant tears off it can hit your windshield. If a truck has to brake suddenly, it can cause the truck to tip and hit your car if you’re riding alongside. High winds can also cause trucks to roll over as the center of gravity is much higher than it is in a passenger vehicle.
It’s also important to give the truck more space when you’re following behind. On the highway, it’s safe to use the five-second rule behind a commercial vehicle. You can measure the distance by taking note of when a truck passes a stationary object along the side of the road. Count the seconds it takes you to reach that same object. If you reach it in less than five seconds, you should back off.
A truck requires more distance to stop quickly than a passenger vehicle does so you should also take care to avoid a truck driver who may be tailgating you. If you have to stop quickly, the truck may not stop in time to prevent hitting you.
Pass and Switch Lanes Cautiously
Practice caution when you’re passing or switching lanes around a commercial truck. If you’re merging in front of a commercial truck while traffic is slowing to a stop, it may be impossible for the truck to slow down enough to keep from hitting you.
You want to pass or be passed by a commercial truck as quickly as possible. This helps reduce the risk of being caught in their blind spot. Do not pass a truck while it’s going uphill or downhill since the weight of the vehicle causes the truck to naturally increase or decrease the speed.
When you’re passing a commercial truck, do it on the left side of the vehicle as it’s easier for the driver to see you. Only merge back in front of the truck when you can see the driver clearly in your own rearview mirror. If a truck is passing you, slow down so it minimizes the amount of time you’re in the trucker’s blind spot.
Trucks require more space to turn right and left than passenger vehicles do. Take care to avoid intersections that commonly involve truckers. Drivers of passenger vehicles should not pass large commercial trucks on the right or the left in intersections. Because of the driver’s limited rear visibility, it’s important not to follow closely. Allow the truck to complete its maneuver in the intersection before passing, turning, or entering the intersection.
Protect Your Rights – Contact Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. Today
If you were involved in an accident with a commercial truck that was not your fault, you want an experienced Georgia motor vehicle accident attorney on your side. The legal team at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. understands the emotional, physical, and mental burden that results from a significant injury. Call our office today at (770) 205-8827, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We’ll listen to the details of your case and advise you on your next best steps.