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4 Tips to Share the Road with Commercial Trucks

Due to the significant size difference, commercial truck accidents are at a greater risk of catastrophic injuries. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2012, 697 truck drivers or their passengers were killed in auto accidents. The impact of a collision involving a commercial truck can be so departmental that it leaves victims facing unexpected lifelong challenges that often negatively impact their way of life moving forward. To stay safe on the roads when sharing them with commercial trucks, it's essential to always practice safe driving habits. Here are four crucial tips everyone should remember the next time they find themselves driving with a large truck in close proximity:

  1. Giving Extra Space – giving extra driving room when sharing the road with a commercial truck is very important. Since they are so prominent in size, they often require more room for basic maneuvering or need more time for stopping. Failure to create enough following distance can increase the likelihood of crashing if unexpected events happen, such as being pushed by the wind, breaking quickly, or a tire blowout.
  2. Avoid Blind Spots – Blind spots on commercial trucks are bigger than normal passenger vehicles, making it harder to see other approaching vehicles. When driving near a commercial vehicle, always remember to:
    1. Avoid the lane on the driver's left side
    2. Stay at least 20 feet ahead or 30 feet behind
    3. If you cannot see the truck's mirrors, the driver cannot see you
    4. Stay two lanes wide on the truck's right side
  3. Be Aware of Wide Turns – Commercial trucks often make wide turns which require more room than a passenger vehicle would. They also oftentimes need to swing out to the left before making a right turn which may require them to enter another lane for a second, which is why it's always good to allow more room when sharing the road with commercial trucks.
  4. Pass Correctly – Most drivers aren't aware there is proper protocol when passing a larger commercial truck. To ensure you are passing these vehicles correctly, follow these steps:

1 - Approach from the left-hand side

2 - Make sure you can see the driver in their mirror, then use your turn signal to alert the driver you are about to pass them

3 - Once you begin to overtake the truck, quickly pass so that you can minimize the amount of time you are in their blind spot

4 - Once you are in front of the truck, double-check that you can see the truck in your rearview mirror to ensure a safe pass.

Contact a Lawyer

Dealing with the legal elements of a commercial truck collision can be stressful and challenging, especially when trying to recover from injuries. Working with a member of our team will have your rest assured knowing that everything is being successfully taken care of. Here at Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman, we have extensive experience fighting cases like yours and are dedicated to getting you the results you deserve.

Contact us today at (816) 542-5999 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation with a member of our team.