How to Avoid Accidents with Commercial Trucks
Any kind of collision between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle can be catastrophic for the people involved – especially those in the passenger vehicle. A heavy-duty commercial truck can outweigh a passenger car by as much as 25 to 40 times. So, when these two vehicles collide, the driver and the passengers in the car are at a much higher risk of suffering life-threatening injuries.
This is why it’s critical for you to learn how to drive safely around commercial trucks and other types of large vehicles.
Given below are six driving tips that can help you drive safely and avoid accidents with commercial vehicles:
1. Be Aware of the Truck’s Blind Spots
The first and perhaps the most important thing you need to know about commercial trucks is that they have large blind spots on all four sides. These are commonly referred to as ‘no zones’ in truckers’ parlance.
The blind spot at the front end of the average commercial truck can obstruct the driver’s view for a distance of 20 feet. The blind spot at the right side of the truck, on the other hand, can be two lanes wide. The blind spot at the back end of the truck can extend out to a distance of 30 feet.
So, whenever you are driving around a large commercial truck, assume that the driver might not be able to notice you and maintain a safe distance from the vehicle.
2. Be Aware of the Truck’s Stopping Distance
The stopping distance or braking distance for a commercial truck is considerably greater than that of a passenger vehicle. A fully loaded commercial truck driving at 50 to 60 mph generally needs a distance equivalent to two football fields to come to a complete stop.
This is one of the reasons why you should never, ever try to cut off a commercial truck. Firstly, you might end up in the truck’s blind spot, which in itself is dangerous. Secondly, and more importantly, the driver might not be able to slow down or stop the truck even if he notices you. So, this is something you need to keep in mind while driving around big rigs.
3. Do Not Pass from the Right Lane
Do not – for any reason – try to pass a truck from the right land. You will most likely end up in the blind spot, which can increase the risk of a collision significantly.
4. Do Not Tailgate
Tailgating is a bad habit, even if the vehicle in front of you happens to be a hatchback or a sedan. It can be a monumental mistake if the vehicle in front of you happens to be a big rig.
Commercial trucks, as you know, are much higher off the ground compared to passenger vehicles. So, in the event of a rear-end collision, your vehicle might slide right under the truck.
5. Be Aware of Wide Turns
Commercial trucks, due to their sheer size and length, require a lot of room to make a turn, especially if they are stacked to the brim with cargo. So, do not try to squeeze your way in or try to pass the truck when it is turning left or right.
6. Maintain a Safe Distance on Slippery Surfaces
Driving a fully loaded heavy duty truck is not an easy task under the best of circumstances. It can be unimaginably difficult when the road is wet and slippery. So, if it is raining or snowing, make sure you maintain a safe distance from commercial trucks – irrespective of the speed you are driving at.
Commercial Truck Accident Attorneys in Dothan, Alabama
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, a collision with a commercial truck might be unavoidable due to the negligence of the truck driver. In cases such as these, you deserve to be compensated for the injuries you suffer and other damages that you incur as a result of the accident.
The personal injury attorneys at Smith & McGhee have the legal knowledge, skills, experience, and resources to prove the negligence of the truck driver and other parties who might be at fault for the accident and recover compensatory damages for you.
Over the years, we have successfully represented and recovered damages for several truck accident victims in Alabama. We know all the tactics and tricks that trucking companies and insurers use to deny their liability in such cases. We can build a strong case against the truck driver as well as other parties if needed and make sure you are sufficiently compensated for the damages you incurred.
You can contact our truck accident lawyers at 334-702-1744 or message us online for a consultation. You can talk to our lawyers, find out if you have a case against the parties at fault, and then determine the best course of action to take.