Due to the sheer size of big rigs and 18-wheelers, an accident with a passenger vehicle can result in catastrophic injuries and, many times, fatalities. Reports from the U.S. Department of Transportation showed that 67% of deaths in large truck crashes were occupants from cars and other passenger vehicles. For this reason, cars need to know how to share the road with trucks safely.
While you can’t control what other drivers do, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of getting into an accident with a truck. Our truck accident attorneys at Kershaw Talley Barlow go over those steps.
No matter how comfortable you are behind the wheel, you should never let your guard down— especially around large trucks. Be alert and pay attention to the traffic flow around you, car signals, and road conditions, which will give you time to react appropriately to any changes.
Avoid trucks’ blind spots
Since trucks have larger blind spots, you want to maintain clear visibility when driving alongside trucks. Major blind spots for truckers include their right or passenger side, 20 feet in front of the truck, and 30 feet behind the truck. Maintain this rule: position yourself where you can see the driver of the truck in his or her side mirrors, so he or she can see you too.
Pass with caution
When fully-loaded, trucks can weigh more than 80,000 pounds, which means they require more distance when stopping. If you need to pass a truck, do it along the left side and leave extra space when merging back into the lane so that you are not in their blind spot zones.
Give trucks extra space
Avoid driving near a truck for too long. Driving nearby to one puts you at a higher risk for accidents caused by abrupt braking and tire blowouts. It’s best to maintain a following distance of at least four seconds.
Learning how to share the road with large trucks can help prevent accidents. However, there are careless truck drivers who may still cause a crash. If you were injured in a truck accident, you’ll want a skilled personal injury attorney to help fight for the compensation you deserve.
Call Kershaw Talley Barlow at (916) 520-6639 for your free case evaluation.