As drivers on the road, we always have a responsibility to use safe driving practices and to follow the established driving laws. This is especially important when we are sharing the road with commercial semi-trucks.
Driving near these semi-trucks introduces a new level of risk and, due to their size and weight, can be especially devastating when accidents occur. As the driver of a passenger vehicle, knowing how to be safe when driving near semi-trucks could save your life as 68% of all truck accidents fatalities are the passenger vehicle occupants.
What Can You Do To Safely Share The Road With Truck Drivers?
If everyone does their part to follow safe driving practices, accidents would be greatly reduced. We know, however, car or truck accidents will never be totally eliminated. Even the safest of drivers can encounter unknown variables that steer them wrong.
As a Hamilton, Ohio firm that handles truck accidents, we have seen far too many people greatly injured after a truck accident. With that said, let’s look at what you can do to greatly reduce your risk of being injured in a truck accident.
Be Aware of Blind spots
Trucks not only have more blind spots when compared to your passenger vehicle but these blind spots are also larger. This means there are several bigger areas that you could be driving in near a truck where a truck driver has no way of knowing you are there.
Being aware of these blind spots can help you know where you should and should not drive when sharing the road with a truck.
A semi-truck’s most common blind spots include:
- 20 feet in front of a truck
- 30 feet behind a truck
- The lane on the driver’s side for the first half of the truck’s length
- Two lanes on the truck’s right side
Don’t Forget to Signal
As a driver, there is no way for other drivers to read your mind or know where you are headed with your vehicle. Turn signals are the only form of communication between drivers. It is especially important to use your turn signal when driving around a truck.
Semi-trucks need increased time to react to cars around them, which includes when changing lanes, slowing down, speeding up, or turning. The more warning and communication you can give to truck drivers when you plan to merge or turn, the better.
Keep Your Distance
Between balancing multiple blind spots and the need for increased time to maneuver or stop, it is best practice to always keep your distance from trucks. We know sometimes it is inevitable as you may need to pass or merge by a semi-truck, but don’t get into the habit of camping out behind or beside a truck as you drive down the highway.
No matter how many vehicles are around you or what size vehicles you are next to, you should always avoid distractions when driving. Eating, texting, talking on the phone, or dealing with passengers are all common distractions that oftentimes lead to accidents. Avoid these distractions and you will reduce your risk of colliding with a truck.
Always Wear Your Seatbelt
This tip won’t necessarily help you avoid an accident, but it will decrease your risk of injury should you find yourself in an accident. When it comes to truck accidents, you are much more likely to be injured in a collision involving a commercial vehicle than the driver of that truck is.
A seatbelt will be your first line of defense should you find yourself in any kind of accident.
We would love for there to come a day where car and truck accidents no longer happen, but we know that will never be the reality of our roads. Even the safest of drivers could still find themselves in an accident with a truck and sustain injuries that could be detrimental to their way of living. If you are injured in a truck crash, call our team at The Richards Firm to represent you.