Navigating the open road with large commercial trucks can be intimidating, even for the most experienced drivers. The sheer size and weight of these vehicles can make sharing the highway a daunting task, but with the proper knowledge and precautions, you can ensure your safety and that of others on the road. Learning crucial tips to stay safe while driving on the highway alongside trucks can help minimize the risk of accidents and keep your journey stress-free.
Keep a Safe Distance
When driving around large trucks, make sure to keep a safe distance. If passing in front of a truck, keep extra space in front of these vehicles, as they need up to 200 yards to stop safely. If driving behind a large truck, keep extra distance behind them to maximize your response time in the event of a crash or a sudden stop. Be wary of the danger of trucks rolling backward when going up a hill.
Avoid Blind Spots
Even though their mirrors are much bigger than the ones on a standard passenger vehicle, trucks have large blind spots to their side and behind them. Be aware of these blind spots and drive safely in their view. A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t see the driver’s face in their mirror, they can’t see you.
Watch Out for Wide Turns
Due to their size, trucks need extra space and time to make wide turns. If a truck has to turn right, it may need to use a middle lane or move left to create more space. When exiting highways with trucks, let them finish their turns before continuing.
While driving, focus on the road and your surroundings by removing any things that can cause dangerous distractions. Put the phone down and use hands-free features like headphones or car Bluetooth if you need to make a phone call. If you are focused on something else, such as eating or directions, pull over to continue your journey distraction-free.
Follow Traffic Patterns for Passing Trucks
When passing a truck, signal clearly and pass on the left. Make sure there is enough space between you and the truck when merging in front. And avoid passing when going down hills because the truck's weight forces them to pick up speed. Be aware of trucks slowing down when exiting highways and when trucks are merging who need more time to get up to speed.
Let Trucks Pass When Necessary
Though trucks tend to go slower on highways than passenger vehicles, sometimes a truck will go faster than you or need to pass. It’s best to let trucks pass you so you and the truck can continue driving safely.
Be Aware of Weight Differences
Trucks and buses are very different from cars. A simple fender bender between two passenger vehicles can have drastically different consequences between a truck and a car. Be wary of these differences and use extra caution with trucks to avoid catastrophic accidents.
Know Your Rights If You’re in an Accident
Even by following these tips for safe driving, truck accidents do happen. If you or someone you love is in a truck accident, the damages and injuries can cause severe long-term consequences. Your rights and peace of mind following an accident are important. Because truck accidents differ from car accidents in terms of damages and liability, navigating the legal aspects of your case can be difficult without dedicated legal guidance. The trial lawyers at The Hamilton Firm LLC have a proven track record of helping clients recover damages and get their life back on track.
Contact The Hamilton Firm LLC at (423) 454-3288 to learn more about how our truck accident lawyers can give you personalized and compassionate care in your case.