Truck accidents happen due to the negligence of truck drivers and motorists in smaller passenger vehicles alike. If we want to see a day when there are no truck accidents across the country, then it is going to take everyone to make that happen. You can help do your part by knowing how to safely share the road with a commercial truck, big rig, semi-truck, or whatever else you might call them.
Five easy-to-remember tips to share the road with commercial trucks are:
- Stay out of blind spots: A commercial truck has much larger blind spots than compared to most other vehicles on the road. You need to do your best to stay out of them. There is a blind spot directly behind and another in front of the truck, each capable of hiding about one or one-and-a-half cars. To the left, about two lanes are obscured in a blind spot that is cone-shaped and extending away from the left-side mirror. On the right is the largest blind spot, which covers two to four lanes to the right and behind.
- Pass on the left: Because the right side of a commercial truck has the largest blind spot, you should always try to pass on the left when it is an option. Passing on the left will allow you to move through a smaller blind spot and, therefore, spend less time “invisible” to the trucker. If you can, make eye contact with the trucker in their left-side mirror as you pass to confirm that they know you are there. Judge your distances correctly, accelerate slightly if you can safely, and complete the pass without delay.
- Increase your following distance: Never tailgate a big rig. Not only are you hiding in a blind spot when tailgating, but you will also be blinding yourself to the road ahead. When you can’t see what is happening around and in front of you, the chances of getting caught in an accident will increase. Do yourself, the trucker, and everyone else on the road a favor and increase your following distance behind a commercial truck to roughly three car lengths or five seconds, whichever is greater.
- Watch for wide turns: Big rigs take big turns, especially right-hand turns at 90-degree intersections. You should never stay next to the side of a commercial truck as it approaches an intersection or while it is using its turn signal. Even if you are in the next lane over, the trailer could swing wide and collide with your car. Or your smaller vehicle could get swept under the trailer and dragged, which is a type of extremely dangerous truck accident called an underride accident.
- Eliminate distractions: Driving while texting or otherwise distracted is not safe. Distracted driving near a commercial truck is inherently even more dangerous. Make a promise to yourself that you will not use the radio, adjust the GPS, or talk with your passengers – all actions that many people think are not distracting, even though they are – whenever you are near a commercial truck.
Accidents Can Still Happen While You Drive Safely
Unfortunately, no matter how much you commit yourself to safe driving and sharing the road appropriately with commercial trucks, there is no way you can guarantee that a truck driver will safely share the road with you. If you are in a truck accident that you know was not your fault, you should speak to a local truck accident attorney as soon as you are able. You could have a valuable truck accident claim on your hands that is capable of paying you for your injuries, vehicle repairs, and lost wages, as well as the pain and suffering you have endured.
Martin Jean & Jackson is one of Oklahoma’s favorite names in truck accident claim representation. We have helped more than 15,000 clients across our 100+ years of collective legal experience, so we mean it when we know a thing or two about truck accident cases against some of the biggest names in the industry. Call now or contact us online if you prefer. Initial consultations are always free and confidential for inquiring clients.