Accidents can be inevitable. And those involving commercial trucks are not an exception. When they happen, injuries could be severe and worse, deaths. Surprisingly, most of these accidents are as a result of the mistakes some drivers make while driving next to trucks. The sooner you know about these mistakes, the safer you’ll be on the road. Here are some of the things that you should avoid as much as possible while travelling next to a truck. Please read on.
1. Do Not Forget to Use Your Signals
Your signals are vital when travelling next to a truck – they require more time and space to maneuver through traffic. Use your turn signals before changing lanes around one of the trucks. This will alert the truck driver of your intentions. If you’re driving ahead of the truck, ensure to also turn on braking signals when you’re about to stop. If you or a family member gets injured because a truck driver was negligent, you can consult a personal injury attorney dealing with auto law cases, such as those of the Derrick Law Firm, to advise you on the relevant legal steps to take.
2. Do Not Forget the Blind Spots
Commercial trucks have more blind spots that can block a significantly large space as compared to regular passenger vehicles. This means that the truck driver hardly sees an approaching vehicle. Therefore, when travelling next to a commercial truck, stay at least 20 feet ahead of the truck and 30 feet behind the truck. Remember, if you cannot see the truck’s mirrors clearly, chances are that the truck’s driver may not be able to see you.
3. Avoid Being Distracted
Phone calls, texting, eating, changing the radio channel, conversation with the passengers in the vehicle, and the use of other electronic devices are some of the major distractions that can easily take your focus off the road while driving. These distractions are some of the reasons behind the hundreds and thousands of road accidents experienced across the country each year. Accidents involving commercial trucks and small vehicles are the most tragic. I doubt if you or anyone would want to become part of the statistics. Regardless of your lifestyle, avoid all kinds of distractions especially when driving next to a truck.
4. Never Get Too Close
Getting too close when driving next to a truck can be very dangerous. Trucks require substantially more space to come to a complete stop in an emergency as compared to other vehicles. The trucks also take more space on the roadway. You’ll notice that commercial trucks may require two lanes to make a wide turn. You shouldn’t, therefore, attempt to pass a truck that’s about to turn to avoid being trapped. Ensure to always drive at least four seconds behind the truck to allow significant space and enough time for the reaction to the movements of the truck.
5. Never Pass the Truck Carelessly
As pointed out above, commercial trucks require more time to maneuver through traffic. You should always be cautious when passing such trucks. Avoid passing the truck while travelling uphill or downhill as the driver can increase or decrease their speed instantly. Travel on the truck’s left side as it’s easier for the driver to see you on this side. And as you pass, maintain your speed and signal properly. You may merge back into the truck’s lane when you have a clear view of its driver in your rearview mirror.
Accidents can be tragic, especially when it involves a truck and a regular passenger vehicle. These are some of the things you should always avoid when driving next to a truck for you to stay safe. You can also look out for other blogs relating to auto law to learn more about the Dos and Don’ts when driving next to a truck. While auto law cases involving truck accidents could be challenging and time-consuming, injury lawyers can help you seek legal practice.