Tips For Avoiding Accidents When Sharing The Road With Commercial Vehicles
Most of us have been forced to share the road with semi-trucks or other commercial vehicles at one point or another. While we may have gotten used to doing so, the reality is that these vehicles pose a much greater risk to us than do standard sized passenger cars. These trucks are, for instance, often more than 70 feet long, eight and a half feet wide, and 13 and a half feet tall, while weighing upwards of 80,000 pounds. It should come as no surprise then, that even skilled and trained drivers can have trouble navigating these large and heavy vehicles, while careless driving puts everyone else on the road at an especially high risk of injury. By practicing certain tips, drivers can help reduce their chances of being involved in a truck accident. Unfortunately, even taking these steps won’t guarantee a person’s safety. If you were hurt in a collision with a commercial vehicle, call an experienced Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyer to learn more about your legal options.
Allowing More Space When Following
Because of their length and weight, larger vehicles generally take a lot longer to come to a complete stop than smaller passenger vehicles. Furthermore, these large vehicles can limit the visibility of others, making it impossible to see stopped traffic, construction, or another hazardous travel condition up ahead. To account for this, motorists should leave plenty of space between themselves and commercial vehicles in front of them, giving them more time to react if they have to suddenly stop or swerve.
Avoiding Blind Spots
Commercial vehicles have much larger blind spots than standard sized vehicles. These blind spots are located:
- On the truck’s left side, under the cab mirror;
- On the right side of the truck, extending past the cab mirror;
- At least 20 feet in front of the cab; and
- At least 30 feet behind the trailer.
One good rule of thumb is that if a motorist can’t see the truck driver’s face in the side mirror, then that driver cannot see the motorist either. Blind spots are also much wider on a truck’s passenger side, so motorists should avoid passing on this side when possible.
Using Care When Pulling Over and Turning
A lot of collisions between commercial vehicles and other drivers occur when the latter pull over on the highway. By finding a wide shoulder or designated pull-off spot, drivers can help prevent sideswipes by large commercial vehicles in narrow areas. Trucks also need more clearance when turning than other cars, so it’s a good idea to allow these vehicles plenty of room to turn, especially in intersections.
Anticipating Weather Conditions
Bad weather is dangerous for all drivers, but poses a special risk to truck drivers. High winds can cause a truck driver to lose control, while slick roads and poor visibility can make coming to a stop even harder for these cumbersome vehicles. When possible, avoid driving near commercial vehicles when it is foggy, raining, or very windy.
Call Today to Set Up a Free Consultation
For help navigating the claim filing process after a truck accident, please call Boone & Davis at 954-566-9919 and set up a meeting with one of our dedicated truck accident attorneys.