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Safely Sharing the Road with Trucks – Part 1

Trucks on the Way – Helpful Tips on Safely Sharing the Road

Friday, December 11, 2020

 

Truck drivers provide an essential service to the economy by transporting goods and materials across the country. However, truckers can spend up to eleven hours a day on the road, which can lead to fatigue and set the stage for accidents. Commercial trucks also have large blind spots and can weigh up to 40 tons reducing their ability to brake quickly and causing them to require lots of room to maneuver. Therefore, sharing the road with trucks requires one to be extremely vigilant.

As a driver of a passenger vehicle, you must remain alert and aware of truck driver vulnerabilities. Below are some tips to help you stay safe while sharing the road with trucks.

Pass Trucks Quickly and Safely

Because of the many blind spots a truck driver has, other drivers must be extra careful when passing a truck.

  • Signal the driver that you intend to pass and keep a steady speed until you can get in front of the truck.
  • Once you are ahead of the truck if you intend to get back into the truck's lane, signal the driver of your intentions and make sure you have enough space.
  • Do not assume that a truck driver sees you.
  • Make sure you have sufficient room to pass a truck.

Always Use Your Turn Signals

Using your signals is the best way to communicate with truckers. It helps drivers anticipate your movements allowing them to act accordingly – whether that means slowing down or giving you more room.

This communication also works both ways. If you are having difficulty passing a truck, be sure to use your signal to alert the driver of your desire to pass. Once a trucker notices you are trying to pass, she may slow down or even flash her lights, signaling to you that she is, in effect, giving you the 'go-ahead' to pass.

Do Not Tailgate

Following too closely behind a truck can result in a serious accident known as an 'underride collision.' This is when a truck abruptly stops, but the vehicle behind it cannot stop in time and ends up slipping beneath the truck's trailer. This type of accident can cause severe injuries to both driver and passenger. To avoid such a situation, maintain a safe distance when you are behind a truck.

Reduce Your Speed in Inclement Weather

Bad weather presents particular challenges to driving that are compounded when drivers choose to speed or not keep a safe traveling distance. Icy or wet roads can be especially dangerous for truck drivers causing tires to slip and creating conditions for a truck to jackknife. This is when a truck's trailer swings around the cab into other traffic.

Give Truck Drivers Adequate Space

If not for the sake of wanting to prevent an accident, extending common courtesy to truck drivers, and remembering that trucks need a lot of room to maneuver will help to make the roads safer.

  • Do Not Cut in Front of Trucks – Make sure you leave a lot of room before you pull over in front of a truck. Quickly cutting in front of a truck at a traffic light or stop sign could cause an accident because the truck may not have adequate time to slow down and stop.
  • Give Drivers Room to Change Lanes or Make Turns – If a truck driver signals to get in front of you in your lane, do not attempt to speed up so that he cannot get over. This course of action is also a recipe for disaster. If necessary, reduce your rate of speed and let the truck pass.
  • Allow Distance for Drivers to Maneuver – Tight streets can be challenging places for truckers to navigate. Do not increase the difficulty by getting in the way when a truck may be stuck. Stay clear, so the truck has all the space it needs to maneuver safely.

Finding an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Sometimes being a vigilant driver is not enough to protect you from becoming involved in a crash. When an accident does occur, you need a knowledgeable attorney who can fight for your rights. If you or someone you know was the victim of a truck crash, contact the experienced team at Freeman & Freeman for a free consultation.



Trucks on the Way – Helpful Tips on Safely Sharing the Road

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