People who drive on a highway have at one time or another encountered a heart-stopping moment when they had to swerve out of the way of an 18-wheeler or have seen one behind them at what appeared to be a dangerous speed.
When a motor vehicle collides with a truck, it is often more serious than a crash between passenger vehicles due to the size, type of cargo, and high speed of trucks on highways. There are some measures that regular drivers can take to prevent an accident with a truck.
Truck Accident Prevention for Motor Vehicle Drivers
Defensive driving is a vital skill for anyone on the road. However, there are some key techniques that drivers of vehicles near large trucks should keep in mind whether they are on the highway or not.
Leave Plenty of Space when Following a Truck
When a larger vehicle is ahead of you, it can obstruct your vision of what is ahead, such as stopped traffic, construction work, or other potentially dangerous situations. Allowing adequate space between your car and the truck ahead will allow you a better chance to respond if you need to turn or stop suddenly.
Allow Space when Passing in Front of a Large Truck
In comparison to a passenger vehicle, a truck is much larger and heavier. It understandably requires more distance to stop. It’s vital to never cut in front of a truck. In case if it is not possible for you to pass the truck with enough room, then remain in your lane.
Avoid being in the Truck’s Blind Spot
A simple trick to understand whether you are in a truck’s blind spot is to take a look at the side mirrors of the truck. If you are unable to see the face of the driver in the mirror, then you are not visible to the driver either.
Passing a larger truck on the driver’s side is safer. A truck’s blind spot is much wider on the passenger side. In summary, when the truck is on the right, you should pass in the left lane.
Pull over on the Highway in a Cautious Manner
In case you need to pull over on the highway, try to locate a designated pull-off area or a wide shoulder. Many crashes occur when a vehicle is pulled over and hit by a passing truck that was driving slightly onto the shoulder.
Be Careful if the Truck is Making a Turn
In comparison to a passenger vehicle, a truck needs more space to turn. If you need to gauge the speed of a truck that is approaching an intersection or the amount of space it will require to make a turn, it is always safer to allow more space, rather than less. You should assume that the speed of the truck is faster than it seems, and it will need most of the intersection to clear a turn.
Never Try to Prove You are Right
It is ill-advised to play “chicken” with a truck. If a truck is trying to pass you or get ahead of you, let it do so. Driving on the highway is not an appropriate time to be “right” or drive faster than someone else, even when you have the right of way. Let a truck trying to move in front of you go ahead, even if you don’t want to allow it. The failure to do so can have devastating outcomes.
Motorists should only pass a truck when they can see that there is room ahead to do so rapidly. You do not want to stall in a lane adjacent to a truck for any longer than required. Rollovers and tire blowouts routinely occur with trucks, and it is not a poignant idea to be beside a truck when these types of incidents happen.
Avoid being Unpredictable
Being predictable on the road is important under any circumstance, but this is particularly vital when driving close to large trucks. You should use the signals properly to enable the truck driver to understand what you intend to do. This will allow them to make appropriate adjustments to their driving. Do not turn or change lanes abruptly without using signals.
Do not Engage in Distracted Driving
It can be especially long and cumbersome to drive on highways. But drivers should be careful to avoid becoming too tired or distracted on the road. Remember, other motorists are bored as well. Planning the trip in advance helps as you can pre-arrange the type of entertainment you like, such as music, podcasts, and audiobooks.
Wait until you reach a rest area or pull over in a safe spot before changing things up. In case you feel exhausted, take a break. Do not wait to pull over until you start getting drowsy, since this can put you in a dangerous situation.
Legal Help for Victims of Big Truck Accidents
Big rig accidents are the leading cause of deaths on our roadways annually. They can lead to tragic physical, emotional, and financial consequences. If your family has suffered due to a devastating accident with a commercial truck or 18-wheeler, consult an experienced personal injury lawyer at Reeves & Mestayer.
We can help you obtain the maximum compensation you deserve for your losses in a truck accident. Call 1-855-558-2977 today for a free consultation.