7 Tips For Safe Driving Around Trucks
We share our roads with vehicles of all shapes and sizes. That’s why our driving habits must be flexible and prepared to encounter everything from big rigs to mopeds. It is all of our responsibility, no matter what vehicle we operate, to drive safely and avoid accidents. And in doing so, we ought to take extra precaution near trucks. Their large trailers can create obstacles of which we all should be aware. So, the next time you hit the road, be sure to take these safe driving tips, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration into consideration.
Tips for driving near trucks:
Stay out of blind spots.
This rule applies to any sized vehicle. However, trucks have extensive blind spots reaching 20 feet in front and 30 feet behind them, as well as one lane width to the left and two-lane widths to the right of their trailer. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind says that if you cannot see the driver in your side mirror, you can assume that they can’t see you. Remain visible and apply extra caution when merging near a truck.
It is no rare occasion that we need to pass a slow-moving truck. So, when you do so, make sure this is done with caution and outside of their blind spot. Signal to them that you are merging, move over, then accelerate so to get out of their blind spot as soon as possible.
Don’t cut them off.
Cutting off any sort of vehicle is inherently careless. However, doing so to a truck is particularly dangerous. When you move quickly into their lane, right in front of them, you will be in their blind spot. And even if you are visible to them, in the case that traffic slows unexpectedly, the driver might not be able to stop in time before running into you. It takes a truck about 40% longer to stop than a passenger vehicle. So, make sure not to linger for too long right in front of such heavy vehicles.
Once again, this is simply one part of any good driving advice. However, this is especially dangerous around trucks. In this instance, you will also land right in their blind spot, which should always be avoided. Also, since trucks are raised much higher off of the ground than cars, there is a chance that you could slide under or get pushed underneath its trailer in the case of a crash.
Be prepared for wide turns.
Trucks are exceptionally long vehicles. And as such, they will have to take very wide turns. Their trailer will swing out wide, and they will often begin turning from the middle lane. With a turning radius of 55 feet, be sure to never get between the curb and a right-turning truck.
Realize that trucks will drive slowly.
Avoid aggressive driving, including quick lane changes and speeding. Impatience can quickly cause an accident.
Give them space.
At any point that you drive near a truck, keep in mind the extra room they require. With a large blind spot, less maneuverability and longer stop time, make sure to do your part and give them space. If a truck is passing you, slow your speed and allow them to get around your vehicle.
No matter what car you drive or where you travel, it is necessary that you operate with a keen awareness of your surroundings. Take note if there is a truck nearby and drive accordingly. We hope that your driving habits and those of the drivers around you never pose a danger to you or your passengers. However, in the instance that you or a loved one is injured in a truck accident, do not hesitate to reach out to us for legal advocacy and counsel. We are here for you in this challenging time.
William Shapiro has handled catastrophic injury/wrongful death actions for over 4 decades obtaining numerous seven and eight-figure verdicts and settlements. Honors include: 2022, 2016 and 2013 OCTLA “Top Gun” TLY; 2022 CAOC TLY Finalist; 2018 “Lifetime Achievement Award” Western State College of Law, 2021 & 2017 Best Lawyers, Lawyer of the Year; 2016 WSBCBA “TLY”; 2015 CAL-ABOTA “TLY”; 2014 “TLY” Consumer Attorneys of CAOIE; 2011 “Hall of Fame,” Western State College of Law; Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers; International Academy of Trial Lawyers; International Society of Barristers; Diplomat, American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA); National Board of Trial Advocacy; specialist in Trial Advocacy, State Bar of California; “Best Lawyers in America” and “Tier 1 Best Law Firms” U.S. News; AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyers; Past President of: San Bernardino/Riverside chapter ABOTA; San Bernardino County Bar Association; Consumer Attorneys of Inland Empire; The Joseph. B. Campbell American Inn of Court; Consumer Attorneys of California; IE ; National Sec of ABOTA, Adjunct professor, Western State College of Law. Learn more here.