Trucks are larger and longer than passenger vehicles with certain limitations when it comes to maneuverability, stopping distances and blind spots. Many truck accidents can be avoided if drivers understand these limitations and practice safe driving skills when sharing the road with large commercial vehicles.
The skilled Knoxville truck accidents lawyers at Greg Coleman Law want you to stay safe on the road and have prepared the list of tips below. We can help accident victims who were injured by negligent or reckless truck drivers. Schedule a free consultation with us today.
1. Be Aware of Blind Spots
Commercial trucks have large blind spots around the front, back and sides of the vehicle. If you are unable to see the driver in the side mirror, assume that he or she cannot see you either.
When approaching a truck, speed up or slow down so that you are not driving in a blind spot that leaves you vulnerable. Also, exercise great caution when merging near a truck when you will most likely be in a blind spot.
2. Stay Back and Allow Extra Space
You cannot safely follow behind a commercial truck in the same way that you do a passenger vehicle. If a truck has to brake, it takes much longer for it to come to a complete stop due to its extra size and weight.
Additionally, commercial trucks are prone to tire blowouts. When a blowout occurs, nearby vehicles may be hit with large shards of heavy rubber. Also, avoid getting too close behind a commercial truck when stopped. On an incline, a truck may roll back and hit your vehicle.
3. Pass Safely
If you need to pass a commercial truck, do so as quickly as possible. Approach from the left-hand side. Move your vehicle to the outer most portion of the lane as you can. Do not pass from the right lane when you might be in a blind spot.
When passing a truck, indicate your intention by using turn signals. Look in your rearview mirror. Merge back into the lane when you can see the truck behind you. Again, give extra space between you and the truck.
If a commercial driver is passing you, stay in the right-hand lane. Slow down and give the driver additional space so that you are not in his or her blind spot.
4. Avoid Cutting Too Close
Cutting in too close in front of a commercial vehicle can be extremely dangerous as they often require a greater time to brake to avoid a collision. The truck driver might not be able to slow down quickly enough to avoid hitting you. Cutting off a truck driver can lead to fatal consequences and should be avoided at all times.
5. Anticipate Wide Turns
Large trucks cannot make sharp turns or maneuver with the same ease as passenger vehicles due to their greater length and size. These vehicles swing wide and sometimes initiate turns from a middle lane.
When you see a commercial vehicle with a turning light on, anticipate a wide turn and fall back. Do not try to squeeze in between the vehicle and the curb. When stopping at a light or other intersection, do not stop in front of the line as you may be hit by drivers turning left.
When turning, do not go in an inner turn lane next to a truck because commercial trucks often need up to 55 feet to turn and may hit you while performing this maneuver.
6. Maintain a Consistent Speed
Skilled commercial truck drivers keep an eye on the traffic around them. They drive defensively and anticipate the actions of others. One way that you can help avoid accidents is by maintaining a consistent speed. This allows truck drivers to anticipate when you will be near them so that they can take proper actions, such as signaling or braking.
7. Practice Patience
Commercial trucks have restrictions on how they operate. Sometimes technology may be included in these vehicles that keeps them under a certain speed in order to keep passengers or other motorists safe. Avoid aggressive driving, honking or weaving around these vehicles and instead practice patience.
Our Lawyers Are Ready to Help
Even if you were driving as safely as possible, you may still be injured by a negligent truck driver. The reputable Knoxville personal injury attorneys at Greg Coleman Law can discuss your legal options and determine whether you might be able to receive compensation for the damages you suffered, including property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
We provide a free, no obligation case consultation to assess your legal options. You are charged no upfront fees and we are only paid for our services if we successfully recover compensation for your case.