There are few times on the road as dangerous as when you are driving on the highway next to a large truck. There are many reasons for this, mostly relating to the size of the truck when compared to the size of your vehicle. By sheer number, there are relatively few accidents that involve trucks, but they are usually the crashes that involve the most damage, injuries and deaths per accident. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to greatly reduce the odds of being in truck accidents.
Give Trucks Space
If you are in a passenger vehicle and you are driving near a large truck, the best thing to do is give them space. Do not ride close to the back of the truck or trailer it is hauling, do not cut off a large truck and place yourself directly in front of them without giving them plenty of space to slow down if they need to and by all means do not drive in the truck driver’s blind spot (the area next to a long truck where the driver cannot see you either in their side view mirror or by looking out their window to the left or right).
Trucks are slower to react than smaller vehicles. This fact, combined with their sheer mass, can be incredibly destructive to a passenger vehicle. Give them plenty of room, don’t spend too much time driving alongside them and never cut off a large truck, especially when driving at highway speeds. These rules are even more important in bad weather since wet, snowy or icy roads mean that truck drivers need even more time to slow down or change direction.
Truck Driver Safety
When you drive a large truck you have a responsibility to be in complete control of your vehicle at all times. This means constant focus on the road in front of you and the vehicles around you. Your job will be made harder by the fact that not every driver of a passenger vehicle is going to follow the rules discussed above.
Drivers of large trucks must always be alert and avoid distractions like eating, texting, making phone calls, changing music and anything else that will take their focus from the road as they drive. It’s also very important that truck drivers get enough rest; falling asleep or trying to operate a massive truck in a drowsy state is a recipe for disaster.
Other mistakes truck drivers often make are things like driving too fast, changing lanes abruptly and without signaling, not keeping their truck properly maintained (especially when it comes to tires, brakes and lights) and having an overloaded or incorrectly loaded trailer, which can cause tipping and sliding.
Again, when the weather is bad, all of these precautions matter even more. Truck drivers need to leave more space between themselves and the vehicles in front of them if roads are slick. They must also make sure they have proper tires with plenty of tread and gripping power and make sure they keep their speed in check, which will give them more time to stop if the need arises.
If you have been in an accident in a large truck, either as the driver of a truck(s) or of a passenger vehicle, consider contacting an attorney if you have any legal questions about your case.