Large commercial vehicles can cause serious accidents that may result in severe injuries and even death. In fact, approximately 9% of all traffic fatalities involve commercial vehicles.
Large trucks require special considerations on the road. For example, they take significantly longer to stop, get started, and merge because they are so cumbersome and large. They are simply less easily manoeuvrablethan the average car or truck. As a driver of a passenger vehicle, you can take extra precautions around commercial vehicles to help avoid accidents.
Avoid Blind Spots
Because semi-trailer trucks are so large, they have big blind spots when they drive. While mirrors and cameras help combat this problem, it cannot be completely resolved. Of course, other drivers also cannot know whether a commercial vehicle has the proper equipment to ensure that they have an eye on their blind spots. Instead, other drivers should take care to avoid blind spot areas entirely, if possible. These include:
- Immediately behind;
- Right in front of the vehicle; and
- On either side.
As a general rule, if you cannot see the truck’s mirrors, then the driver cannot see you. When you are in front of the truck, you should be able to see the vehicle’s windshield in your rearview mirror if you are not in the blind spot.
Be sure to keep moving and do not linger in blind spots if you are passing a commercial truck. Give them lots of space and overestimate how much the blind spot actually covers.
Do Not Cut in Front or Slow Suddenly
When you move in front of a truck, you should not only take care to stay out of its blind spots, but you should also avoid slowing down suddenly or “cutting in” on large trucks. A big commercial vehicle cannot slow as fast as you can, and it may not be able to prevent running into the back of your car.
A commercial truck driver’s limited visibility in the front may result in a complete inability to see your vehicle as well. Visibility problems can end up causing severe accidents that may end up crushing your car.
Be sure to also provide plenty of notice to large trucks of your intentions regarding turning or passing. They may need extra time to slow down or stop to accommodate for your change in direction.
Give Large Loads More Room
Be sure to give commercial truck drivers plenty of space to move about the road, whether they are traveling in a straight line or turning. Keep in mind that it will take longer to pass a large commercial vehicle as well.
Wide loads, oversized loads, and long loads need even more space and are likely heavier as well. Take care to avoid following too close, and try not to cut off a pilot car, particularly when it is passing a load.
Keep an Eye Out for the Wind and Other Weather
Because commercial vehicles are so large, they are uniquely affected by the wind and other weather. Gusts of wind can throw an empty trailer on the other side of the road in some circumstances. Trucks also throw water in wet conditions as well. Be aware that you likely will get splashed if you follow or pass a truck, which can decrease your visibility.
Trucks can also shield the weather from you as well. Going ahead or falling behind a truck can end up throwing your vehicle due to changes in the air pressure and wind currents as well. Be extra cautious around large trucks and keep both hands on the wheel as you pass.
Getting the Legal Help You Need
At Diamond andDiamond, we have helped many commercial truck accident victims. We can evaluate your potential legal claim completely free of charge. Call 1-800-567-HURT for more information or to schedule an appointment.