As the driver or passenger of a car or pickup, you could sustain serious injuries if the vehicle you are in is involved in a collision with a large truck. Tractor trailer trucks exert a great deal of force because of their significant mass.
There are many things you may not be able to change or control when you encounter a large truck on the roadway. However, you can adapt your driving behavior to avoid accidents with these types of vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration describes several things you can do as the driver of a passenger vehicle to avoid a truck accident.
- DO NOT CUT OFF TRUCKS
When passing, be sure that you allow enough stopping distance between you and the truck before you return to your lane. The larger the vehicle, the more time it takes to stop.
- AVOID TAILGATING
Following another vehicle too closely is always dangerous and discourteous. Your vehicle is smaller and lower to the ground than a truck, meaning that it could get stuck under the trailer in a crash. Therefore, you should always avoid tailgating, especially in a situation where the truck could roll back, such as on an upward slope or at a stoplight.
Another reason why following too closely is dangerous is because it puts you into the truck driver’s blind spot. Remember that trucks have larger blind spots than passenger cars.
- PROVIDE TURNING ROOM
A tractor-trailer requires a turning radius of 55 feet. For the trailer to go where it should, the cab has to swing wide. You should stay back when stopped at an intersection to allow the truck adequate turning room.
- STAY OUT OF THE NO ZONES
You may not know this, but large trucks and buses have blind spots on all four sides of the vehicle. A common guide is if you cannot see the truck driver in their vehicle side mirror, it can be assumed that the driver can’t see you. DO NOT drive in their blind spots, slow down or move ahead to stay visible, and take extra care when merging in to their lane.
A truck accident can lead to catastrophic injuries, such as broken bones, organ damage and lost limbs, as well as brain or spinal cord injuries. You cannot control the truck driver’s schedule, speed or state of mind, but you can put yourself in a better position to avoid a collision.
The experienced truck accident attorneys at Hardee, Massey & Blodgett are here to answer any of your questions if you’ve been involved in an accident with a large vehicle. Let us put our over 58 years of experience handling tractor trailer accidents to work for you.