When you operate a vehicle on the roadway, you want to make sure you take every step necessary to remain safe for those inside your vehicle as well as others on the road around you. One of the scariest aspects of driving is operating near a large commercial truck. Even though the vast majority of these vehicles are completely safe, it can be intimidating to drive behind or try to pass a large truck. Here, we want to discuss some of the main tips that you need to keep in mind if you find yourself approaching a commercial truck on the roadway. There are ways that you can operate your vehicle that will help you remain safe and help minimize potential dangers of a truck accident.

Safety Tips for Driving Next to Trucks

1.      Avoid blind spots

Commercial trucks have very large blind spots along each side of the vehicle. When it comes to large trucks, these are referred to as “No-Zones.” The general rule of thumb is that if you cannot see the truck driver in their mirror, the truck driver will likely not be able to see your vehicle.

2.      Always use turn signals

Commercial trucks require longer times and distances to stop or maneuver through traffic. That is why it is crucial that you always use your turn signals before changing lanes or making a turn when you are operating around a larger truck. This will allow the driver to see your intentions and give them time to adjust appropriately.

3.      Give a truck space around turns

Aside from just avoiding the truck’s blind spots, you need to just give the truck more space when it appears they will be making a turn. Trucks can take up two lanes when they need to make a wide turn, and it is never advisable to try to pass a truck that is turning right on the right side. This could result in the vehicle being trapped between a truck and the curb.

4.      Pass safely

Because large commercial trucks require more time to stop and maneuver in traffic, it is important to be cautious when passing the truck. Please keep in mind that drivers of semi-trucks may decrease or increase their speed when they are going up or downhill, so try not to pass a truck in these specific areas. Additionally, it is easier for a truck driver to see vehicles traveling on their left side. Try to always pass a truck on their left while maintaining speed and using appropriate turn signals. Wait to merge back into a truck’s lane until after you can see the truck driver in your rearview mirror.

5.      Adjust your headlights

It is important to always adjust your headlights appropriately depending on traffic situations. When there are other drivers around you, you should not really be using your high beams anyway. You need to lower your vehicle’s high beams anytime you see an oncoming truck from the other direction or when you are approaching a large truck on the roadway in your lane.

6.      Avoid distractions

It is important to avoid all distractions when you are driving, particularly if there are large trucks in the vicinity. Some of the most common causes of distractions that lead to severe car accidents include talking or texting on a phone, browsing social media, eating in the vehicle, adjusting a radio or GPS, having conversations with others in the vehicle, and more.

Contact Heenan & Cook If You’ve Suffered a Truck Accident Injury

Accidents involving large commercial trucks can cause victims to suffer from severe injuries that can result in permanent disability or death. It is imperative that all drivers exercise caution when operating near larger trucks on the roadway. However, if you or somebody you love has been injured in a crash caused by the negligent actions of a truck driver or trucking company, you need to speak to a skilled attorney as soon as possible. Attorney can use their resources and experience to investigate every aspect of the incident and help you recover compensation for your losses.