Driving safely near trucks is the best way to prevent an accident. Practicing safe driving not only keeps yourself safe, but it protects the safety of other road users. Examples of safe driving measures include refraining from drunk driving, keeping your distance from large vehicles, and avoiding distractions.
Five Ways To Drive Safely Near Trucks (and Other Large Vehicles)
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) notes that driver error is the leading cause of collisions involving trucks. Some ways to stay safe while driving include:
Obeying the Speed Limit
The faster you go, the less time you have to brake if a hazard appears. Sometimes, even if everyone around you is going slower than the posted speed limit, you should follow suit. For all you know, there could be an unseen danger that threatens everyone’s safety.
Refraining from Intoxication
You should never operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Even if you’ve only had a few drinks, you should consider catching a ride with a friend or contacting a rideshare service. You don’t want to risk your safety (and others) while driving.
Keeping Your Distance from Commercial Trucks
The FMCSA says that large trucks require more braking space than passenger cars. If you’re tailgating (or following too closely), and the truck in front of you brakes, you could collide with the truck’s rear. Not only could this make you liable for any resulting damages, but you risk an underride accident.
This is when your car gets stuck in the space between the bottom of the truck and the street. Even a minor underride accident can cause life-threatening injuries. If possible, don’t even follow a truck. Instead, merge into the other lane or try to safely pass it.
Avoiding Distractions While Behind the Wheel
When a distraction takes your eyes and attention off the road, it increases the risk of getting into an accident with a truck. You should always stay focused and keep your hands on the wheels and your eyes on the road.
Some of the common distractions you should always avoid while driving include:
- Making phone calls
- Using the GPS
- Having conversations with other occupants in your vehicle
- Reaching for items
- Adjusting the radio
Many states have regulations against distracted driving. Driving while distracted isn’t only dangerous; it’s also illegal.
Refrain from Road Rage
It’s easy to lose your temper behind the wheel. However, giving in to your emotions can actually distract you from driving. You should avoid engaging with the truck driver altogether.
Avoid Driving in Inclement Weather
It happens. Sometimes, you’re out running errands, and you get caught in the rain. In this situation, you should drive slowly, avoid taking harsh turns, and refrain from distractions. If you can avoid driving in the rain, you should stay home.
In the rain:
- The trucker might not see you.
- The trucker could lose control of the vehicle by hydroplaning or jackknifing.
- The water coming off the truck could prevent you from seeing clearly.
Pass Safely Around Slow-Moving Trucks
Before you attempt to pass a truck, ensure that the truck driver can see you in their side mirrors. If you cannot see the truck’s side mirror, the truck driver cannot see your vehicle. Always pass a truck on the left side, maintain a constant speed, and give it extra space.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-333-9999
What Should I Do if I’m in an Accident with a Truck?
As noted, you can do everything possible to prevent an accident, yet still suffer harm. If you or a loved one got hurt in a collision, you can seek compensation for a variety of losses, including your medical bills and lost income. However, this requires knowing what to do after getting hurt.
If possible, you should:
- Consider partnering with a personal injury lawyer
- Keep track of your losses
- Seek medical care
- Take photos of your injuries
- Refrain from sharing information about your collision online
- Notify your insurer (even if you didn’t cause the accident)
- Report the accident to law enforcement
When you partner with our legal team, you don’t have to worry about navigating the post-accident aftermath alone. Our team will evaluate the cause of your collision, calculate your losses, and pursue them through a claim or lawsuit.
Learn More from Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers
Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers has over 400 years of combined legal experience, and we can help you recover the compensation you deserve after a serious truck accident. Compensation in your case could account for your healthcare expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
For more information about how to drive safely while sharing the road with a large truck, contact our team. If you suffered harm in a collision, we encourage you to call us as soon as possible.