As a driver, you must have experienced that nerve-wracking moment where you had to pass an 18-wheeler truck on the freeway. Commercial trucks can be frightening, not only due to their sheer size and weight, but also because of their susceptibility to fatal accidents.
For this reason, motorists have the responsibility of driving carefully around trucks to prevent accidents by following these steps.
1. Avoid blind spots
Trucks have more blind spots than an average car, and if you cannot see the truck’s driver In the side mirror, the chances are that you are in the truck’s blind spot. The lane on the driver’s side, about half the trailer’s length from the truck, should be avoided as the truck driver cannot see that area. Additionally, you should maintain a 20 foot distance in front of the truck and keep at least 30 feet away from the truck’s rear side. Blindspots account for most truck-motorist accidents. You can learn more at Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC on the steps to take if you are involved in a trucking accident.
2. Be cautious when overlapping
Exercising caution is necessary whenever you are on the wheel. However, you should be extra vigilant when passing a commercial truck as it cannot stop or make quick maneuvers if they untimely switch lanes.
Try to approach the truck from the left side, where the driver can easily spot you. You should not pass a truck on a hill climb or downhill as it can naturally reduce or increase speed. When the truck passes you, you can slow down to give the driver enough time to overlap and reduce the amount of time you will be in the truck’s blind spot.
3. Give clear signals
When you pass a truck, you should signal at least four seconds earlier than you would with other motorists to give the truck driver enough time to anticipate your moves.
4. Keep your distant
You don’t want to drive close to a commercial truck for too long as you will be exposed to accident-causing factors such as tire blowouts, sudden braking, and high winds swerve. When taking turns, trucks require up to two lanes, and it is wise to give them enough space. Additionally, do not pass a truck on the right when it takes a right turn, as you can get trapped in the limited space between the truck and its curb.
5. Avoid distractions
When driving, you should avoid distractions. The freeway isn’t the place to browse your phone or grab snacks from the back seat. Additionally, driving can be tiring, and even disciplined drivers may get distracted by fatigue.
As much as accidents are bound to happen, exercising safety road practices can reduce their occurrence and save thousands of lives. Commercial trucks are usually involved in accidents due to their large size, and weight and caution should be exercised by other motorists when driving near them. If you are involved in a road accident, be quick to contact an attorney so that they can take care of legal procedures associated with accidents, such as personal injury claims.
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