It is rare to not encounter a commercial truck during your everyday commute – it is tough to avoid them. It is not surprising that many drivers can be intimidated when a commercial truck is nearby, mainly due to the truck’s massive size and the risk of severe injury or death if an accident occurs.
You can help lower your risk of an accident by following these safety guidelines provided by our compassionate attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy. If you were injured in a commercial truck accident because of a negligent truck driver, request a free, no obligation consultation with our Cincinnati truck accident attorneys today.
Be Aware Of A Truck’s Blind Spots
Commercial trucks have very large blind spots that do not show up on the truck’s sideview mirrors. It is important that you know where these blind spots are so you are able to stay clear of them and stay safe.
As a general rule, if you cannot see the driver in the truck’s side mirrors, he or she cannot see you. When approaching a commercial truck, keep in mind that there are blind spots:
- 20 feet in front of the truck
- 30 feet to the rear of the truck’s trailer
- To the left, one lane wide extending to about halfway down the trailer
- To the right, two lanes wide, angling to extend approximately 10 feet past the trailer
Always make sure you are able to see the truck driver in his or her mirror before making a pass or other movement.
Give Trucks Enough Space
Because of blind spots and the longer amount of time a truck needs to come to a stop, it is very important that you allow plenty of space when driving around commercial trucks.
When merging near a truck or passing a truck, exercise caution. Do not merge in front of a truck traveling downhill or uphill, as truck drivers adjust their speed to travel safely in these areas.
It is easier for the truck driver to see you when you are on the left, so make sure to pass on that side. Always maintain your speed and use signals. You can merge back into the lane ahead of the truck once you are able to see the truck’s driver in your rearview mirror.
You need to understand that trucks make very wide turns, sometimes taking up as much as two lanes. Avoid getting too close to a truck that is turning right because your vehicle could get trapped between the truck and the curb.
You also want to allow plenty of space when driving around a truck to protect yourself in case the vehicle tips over. Trucks are vulnerable to high winds and other factors that could cause rollovers, such as sudden braking that can easily cause the trailer to tip. Tire blowouts can leave huge chunks of rubber in the road that can be difficult to avoid. The blowout also has the potential to cause a rollover or cause the truck to roll over.
Do not use your bright headlights when driving adjacent to a commercial truck. A truck’s large side mirrors can pick up your lights, reflecting them into the eyes of the driver, making it difficult for the driver and putting everyone driving near the truck at great risk.
Always use your turn signal when traveling around commercial trucks. Truck drivers require more time to make adjustments, and your signal alerts truck drivers that you are about to make a move, allowing them to adjust accordingly. Trucks cannot stop as quickly as smaller passenger vehicles, so making sudden, unexpected movements may put you at risk of an accident.
Your full attention should be on the task of driving anytime you are on the road, and especially when traveling amongst commercial trucks. Follow these tips on avoiding distractions:
- Do not use your cellphone while driving.
- Avoid conversations with passengers.
- Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Always be well-rested before driving – do not drive drowsy.
- Avoid adjusting the radio, programming your GPS, and doing other non-driving activities when behind the wheel.
Contact Our Experienced Lawyers For Help
If you or someone you love was injured in a commercial truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our Cincinnati truck accident lawyers are ready to fight to recover the maximum compensation you deserve.
Request a free, no obligation consultation today and learn your legal rights after a trucking accident. There are no upfront fees and payment is only due if we recover compensation for you.