Commercial trucks often use the same roads as other non-commercial motor vehicles, and as you may already know, many crashes recorded each year involving large trucks. Since truck drivers usually spend a lot of time on the road, specific measures should be taken to prevent those accidents. When sharing the road with haulage trucks, you can use various defensive driving tips to stay safe. Read on to learn how to drive defensively around big trucks.
Overloaded commercial trucks can take up to 400 feet to come to a complete stop, whereas a small car traveling at 65mph can stop in about 240 feet. Large truck drivers may be forced to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting other cars, resulting in the vehicle following behind, failing to stop on time.
Tailgating is dangerous since your car can slide under the trailer leading to a fatal crash. You must also avoid parking too close behind a stationary truck. When it takes off, it can roll back and crash into you.
Contact a Lawyer Soon After an Accident
No matter how defensively you drive on the road, accidents are, at times, inevitable. As you know, truck drivers spend a lot of time on the road, so issues like fatigue can take its toll on them. That is why you might find yourself involved in a semi-trailer truck accident through no fault of your own. If you are injured in a truck accident, it is essential to call your lawyer immediately.
Truck accident lawyers such as the ones from Serious Injury Law Group specialize in dealing with compensation claims, and they can help you if you suspect that the accident was due to the truck driver’s negligence. Expert accident attorneys can assist you throughout your settlement, from investigating the accident’s causes and determining the wrongdoer to negotiating fair compensation.
Overtake When the Road Is Clear
When you are driving behind a commercial truck, never be in a hurry to overtake. Commercial trucks have speed limits, slower than other cars on the road. You may have this urge to overtake the slow-moving truck as soon as you can, but this move could be dangerous. You cannot overtake a huge truck the same way you overtake another small car.
Ensure that the road is clear, so you are not compelled to cancel your move midway when you see oncoming traffic approaching. When you have safely overtaken the truck, only return to your lane when you can see its two headlights in your rearview mirror. Again, try to maintain a safe distance when you are ahead of the large vehicle.
Avoid Blind Spots
Commercial vehicles have wide blind sports, unlike ordinary cars. The truck drivers may not be able to see other cars within a range of about 20 to 30 feet behind or driving in other lanes. If possible, avoid driving close to a large vehicle in locations characterized by curves and other blind spots.
Be Careful When a Haulage Truck Turns
It’s imperative always to be alert when a big truck in front of you is turning right. Large vehicles require more space when turning, and they can occupy two lanes to complete the maneuver safely. It can make it difficult for you to pass the turning truck even though you are in your correct lane. Pay close attention to the truck driver’s signal if they want to turn so you can maintain a safe gap between the two vehicles.
Check for Runaway Trucks
Most commercial trucks are always laden with heavy goods that make them susceptible to mechanical failures. For instance, the tires can blow out, the engine overheats, or brakes fail, making it difficult for the driver to control the vehicle. In the case of brake failure, the truck can drive very fast, especially if it is traveling downhill. If you see a runaway truck behind or facing you, take safety precautions like maintaining a safe distance.
Similarly, you must also practice defensive driving when you are in front of a haulage truck. Sudden braking in front of an 18 wheeler is very dangerous since you risk being hit from behind. Heavily loaded trucks cannot stop suddenly like small cars, and this could lead to terrible accidents.
When you are driving around big trucks, the golden rule to follow is always to stay alert. Always check to see if the road is clear before deciding to take any action, like overtaking or stopping. You must constantly use your mirrors and turn signals so that other drivers know your intention. Following too closely behind a big truck, or any vehicle for that matter, is very dangerous, so make sure you keep enough distance between you and other vehicles. Last but not least, remember that sudden braking in front of a huge truck will most likely lead to a horrific crash.