Truck accidents can have devastating consequences due to the size and weight of commercial trucks. In order to stay safe on the road and reduce the risk of being involved in a truck accident, there are several important things that a truck accident lawyer from our friends at MartinWren, P.C. wants you to know. By understanding these key factors and following safety guidelines, you can protect yourself and others while sharing the road with trucks.
Understand Blind Spots: One crucial aspect of truck safety is recognizing the large blind spots or “no-zones” that exist around trucks. These blind spots include areas directly behind the truck, alongside the truck’s doors, and in the space in front of the truck. Avoid lingering in these blind spots, as the truck driver may not be able to see you. Always maintain a safe distance and try to pass trucks quickly and safely. Some trucks display diagrams of these spots on their back doors, so take note of this.
Give Trucks Adequate Space: Trucks require more time and distance to come to a complete stop due to their size and weight. It is important to provide ample space when following a truck to allow for proper braking distance — and this distance increases in bad weather. Tailgating a truck increases the risk of a rear-end collision, which can have severe consequences. Stay a safe distance behind the truck and avoid abrupt lane changes or cutting in front of a truck.
Be Cautious During Turns: Trucks have a wider turning radius, so they may need to swing out or make wider turns to navigate intersections. Avoid squeezing between a turning truck and the curb or making sudden movements that could catch the driver off guard, or they may not see your vehicle entirely if you are in a blind spot. Allow the truck ample space to maneuver safely.
Pass with Care: When passing a truck, exercise caution and follow proper passing protocols. Make sure you have enough clear space ahead of the truck before merging back into the lane. Avoid passing on the right side of the truck, as this is one of the truck driver’s larger blind spots. Also be aware of other drivers around you.
Stay Alert and Avoid Distractions: Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents on the road. It is important to stay focused, keep your attention on the road, and avoid distractions such as texting, talking on the phone, or other activities that take your eyes and mind off driving — this can even include chatting with passengers, so just be cautious. Being aware of your surroundings and potential hazards can help you react in a timely manner to any situation involving a truck.
Observe Weather Conditions: Inclement weather can make driving conditions challenging, especially when sharing the road with trucks. Reduce your speed, increase your following distance, and use caution when driving in adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow, or fog. Trucks may require even more time and distance to brake and maneuver in poor weather, so be patient and give them extra space. You should also follow the rules of the road with regards to turning on headlights.
Report Dangerous Driving Behavior: If you witness a truck driver engaging in dangerous or reckless behavior, such as speeding, aggressive driving, or swerving, report it to the appropriate authorities. Providing details about the truck and its location can help prevent potential accidents and protect others on the road. If you are worried for your own safety, find a place to pull off and wait for the truck to pass.
Seek Legal Assistance if Involved in an Accident: If you are involved in a truck accident, it is crucial to seek legal assistance from a qualified truck accident attorney. They can guide you through the legal process, help protect your rights, and ensure you receive fair compensation if you have been injured due to the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company. They will also know who can be held liable for your injuries.
By understanding these important safety tips and practicing them while sharing the road with trucks, you can greatly reduce the risk of being involved in a truck accident. Staying alert, maintaining a safe distance, and following proper driving practices will help create a safer environment for all road users. Do not forget, if you are in an accident, contact a lawyer for help.