Drivers must share the road with all types of vehicles, from motorcycles to semi-trucks to bicycles. Each type of vehicle needs to be respected and given their own space on the road. People driving near commercial trucks should be aware of the associated risks and adjust their position on the road accordingly.
- Pass Carefully
Truck drivers are not able to stop their vehicles as quickly as other motorists. When passing a commercial truck, make sure that the time spent in the blind spot is minimized and employ the use of indicators to signal the upcoming lane change. Make sure that the truck is not being cut off in any way, as they may not be able to slow down in time and an accident could ensue. Avoid passing a truck while on a hill, and always pass on the left side of the vehicle.
- Avoid Blind Spots
Commercial trucks have more blind spots that encompass quite a bit of space around the front, sides and back of the vehicles. If being passed by a truck, stay in the existing lane and slow down to attempt to get out of the blind spot quickly. Pass trucks on the left and do not linger next to them. Remember that trucks also have blind spots directly in front of and behind the vehicle, so try to maintain enough distance to remain seen by the driver at all times. Anyone who is hit due to a truck driver neglecting to adequately check their blind spots should think about contacting a personal injury attorney for advice.
- Do Not Tailgate
Following a large truck too closely is not usually a good idea. The trailer may impede the driver’s vision and cause them to be unsure about the color of an upcoming traffic light or the presence of pedestrians. If the truck stops unexpectedly or the driver loses control of the vehicle, then a collision may occur. Any debris that is kicked up by the truck’s tires may hit the hood, windshield or roof of the trailing vehicle, causing damage. High winds, poor road conditions or other factors may cause the truck to roll over, swerve or jackknife. Anyone who is following too closely may be unable to stop in time and become involved in the accident.
- Stay Calm
Commercial truck drivers must obey certain state and federal speed laws and the regulations that are set in place by their employers. While it may be frustrating to be behind a truck that is not going as quickly as the surrounding vehicles, becoming impatient while behind the wheel is not a good idea. Try to pass when it is possible to do so and remember that the goal of driving is to arrive safely at a destination, not to win a race. Stay calm and do not engage in reckless driving behaviors or do anything to compromise the safety of others.
It is not always possible to avoid an accident, but by exercising caution, many incidences can be prevented. Drive proactively and remember to be careful around commercial trucks in order to increase the safety of eac