How to Avoid Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can be especially devastating events for any motorist with a smaller vehicle, so it’s in your best interest to follow a few key guidelines for avoiding Arizona truck accidents.
Being Mindful of Spacing
Due to their size and lack of maneuverability, you’ll want to maintain a safe distance and be keenly aware of your exact position in relation to a truck at all times:
- Keep your distance. The safest way to be around a truck is to simply not be around them anymore. When following a commercial vehicle, slow down enough to give yourself a minimum 4-second following distance; similarly, it’s usually a good idea to stay as far away as possible from their sides and front.
- Don’t merge in front. If there’s any risk of a slowdown (traffic, stoplights, etc.), avoid merging ahead of a truck. Trucks take significantly longer to come to a stop than other vehicles, so if you merge into a truck’s lane suddenly, a driver might not have time to slow down and avoid hitting you.
- Give them room to turn. Trucks need plenty of room (oftentimes a full two lanes) in order to make any sort of turn, so don’t try to follow alongside them as they do. This is especially true if a truck is turning right; completely avoid the right side of their vehicle as they do, as they’ll need to make a tighter turn.
- Pass appropriately. It may be necessary to pass a truck at times but only do so with the utmost caution. Only pass on flat sections of road (heavy trucks significantly decelerate/ accelerate on hills), pass on the left side of the truck, and once you’re ahead of them, wait to gain some distance before merging back into their lane.
- Avoid blind spots. Most trucks have blind spots large enough to hide entire vehicles, which could render you functionally invisible. As such, you should avoid these regions: most of the closest lane on the left, the right-side region two lanes out, and 30 feet behind or in front of the vehicle.
Be Courteous and Communicative
Courtesy certainly plays a role in collisions, yet can be of questionable importance to liability, so it’s a good idea to talk to an Arizona truck accident attorney to learn more about how less obvious factors could affect your collision. Barring that, you should keep these things in mind:
- Turn off your high beams. Trucks have much larger side mirrors and need clear vision more desperately, so always lower your lights when driving around them. High beams are merely annoying and lightly blinding to smaller vehicles, but with trucks, they can be deadly.
- Use your signals. Truck drivers benefit greatly from advance notice of other driver’s intents, so use your signals when merging, changing lanes, or turning. You’ll need to turn them on much earlier than you would with other drivers since trucks take longer to adjust.
- Stay alert. Distracted driving claims thousands of lives every year, but is especially dangerous around trucks, which are unable to maneuver quickly and pick up your slack. Be especially vigilant when driving near trucks, and be intensely aware of the positions of all other vehicles around you.
What to Do After an Arizona Truck Accident
Unfortunately, even with the best of efforts, you might get into a truck accident in Arizona regardless, especially given that truckers and truck companies are frequently at fault for the collisions they’re involved in. Give ELG a call today at (623) 877-3600 to schedule a free consultation with one of our truck accident lawyers in Arizona and learn more.