Safety Tips When Driving Near and Passing Trucks
It can be intimidating when you are driving on the roads at high rates of speed and there are large, loud trucks barreling down the highway next to you. You feel very small in your passenger vehicle and you can’t be for sure if the truck who is passing you or in front of you knows that you are there. If you are in a position where you need to pass a truck, it is a nerve-wracking ordeal.
Your nerves aren’t shaky for nothing, there are over 250,000 crashes that take place between passenger cars and trucks every year in the United States. Approximately 8% of vehicles in fatal accidents on the roads were large trucks, the majority, 71%, being semi-trucks. Large trucks are upwards of thirty times heavier than passenger vehicles so you can imagine that when the two collide, major damage and destruction specifically for the passenger vehicle will ensue.
How Can You Safely Pass A Large Truck On The Road?
When a truck has to make a change in speed or direction on the road to avoid a hazard, for instance, their intense momentum and size require more time to slow down or stop and more space to move about. It is advisable to give trucks ample space when you are driving near them, especially if you are on a highway with elevated speeds. Giving yourself a bit of padding between your car and a truck is wise to reduce your risk for an accident. Here are some other tips to drive near and around a truck in a safer manner on the road.
- When you are driving too close behind a truck, the truck driver will have a difficult time identifying and seeing your vehicle. When you are riding in a truck’s rear blind spot too closely you don’t show up in the trucker’s view which means if they need to make a quick stop or slow down, they won’t know you are there and you are at high risk for being involved in a rear-end collision with a truck. Depending on the circumstances, your car can slide right under the truck which is disastrous.
- When you must pass a truck, it is best to do so from the left lane where the trucker has a better view of your intentions.
- Don’t vary your speed when you are driving in different positions around a truck. If you are going to pass a truck you will need to speed up a bit to do so. Do not get in front of a truck with enough speed to pass only to slow down when you are in position. The truck will need time to adjust its speed and if you are going too slow, the truck may smash into you.
- When you are ready to pass a truck make sure you can see the full cab in your rear-view mirror before you make the lane change. Also after you see the cab give yourself a bit more space before you move over to make sure there is enough room between you and the truck.
- Pass one lane at a time. This way you always know what is happening in each lane you move into. If you pass in front of a larger vehicle like a truck only to pass over another lane to get on an exit ramp you aren’t going to be able to see what is happening on the ramp. The large truck will block your view which makes this maneuver highly dangerous.
What To Do If You Are Hit By A Truck On The Road?
It is best to exercise extra caution on the roads when you are surrounded by trucks. Even when you are driving as safely as possible there can still be accidents. On steep downhill descents, for instance, trucks are at a limited ability to slow down and stop their speed versus that of a passenger vehicle if an emergency arises. When you have been hit by a truck, the devastation can be immense. You will need to recover as much compensation as possible.
Truck claims are difficult because many entities can be held liable for the damages such as the truck driver, the company that the driver works for, and even the company that owns the cargo on board. The Phoenix 18 wheeler truck accident attorneys at ELG know how to place liability and obtain compensation on your behalf. Our team of Arizona serious injury attorneys at ELG care about those who have suffered injuries in accidents that were not their fault.
The lawyers at ELG can be found at either of our locations in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona for your convenience. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at 623-562-3838.