Our roadways are filled with commercial trucks that deliver most of the goods that we buy. Since trucks are much larger and heavier than passenger cars, they require awareness and consideration by the other drivers sharing the road. By taking a few simple steps, we can make our city streets and highways a place for trucks and smaller vehicles to drive together safely.
Avoid a Truck’s Blind Spots
Commercial trucks have much larger blind spots than passenger vehicles. This means that there are areas on all four sides of the truck which are locations where cars should spend as little time as possible. Generally, this includes the area immediately in front of and behind the truck, as well as from the cab to about the midpoint of the trailer on the left side and from the front of the cab to the rear of the trailer on the right.
These spots create a much higher potential for a collision because the driver may not even be aware there is a vehicle right next to them. When trucks change lanes or when they turn at an intersection, they quickly move into these areas that should be kept clear as much as possible. A useful guideline is that if you’re driving and are unable to see the face of the person driving the truck in their side mirrors, then you are probably in the truck’s blind spot. If your car’s cruise control places your vehicle in a truck’s blind spot, consider reducing your speed or switching lanes to quickly and safely keep the blind spot clear.
Pass With Care
In addition to not spending a sustained amount of time in a truck’s blind spot, it’s also advisable to minimize the amount of time your vehicle takes to pass through a truck’s blind spot. While your car may only be there for a few seconds, this is all the time it takes for a serious accident to occur.
When you are preparing to pass a truck, maintain an awareness of the traffic around the truck so you can anticipate any sudden changes that the truck driver may make. A truck may change lanes quickly to avoid a collision with a vehicle in front of them. In a split-second decision such as this, other vehicles passing next to the truck will find themselves in a dangerous situation.
To avoid this, consider waiting to pass until you have extra space around you in case you need to react to unexpected traffic changes. When you are ready to pass, do so safely as quickly as you are able, so you are once again clear of the truck’s blind spots.
Say No to Distracted Driving
When we’re driving, each trip can be full of surprises and unexpected situations where we have choices to make quickly. We have no way of knowing when or where these events will happen. That means that we need to be aware and alert at all times while we’re driving. By keeping our cell phones down and out of sight, we can focus on our most important job at the moment, which is safely getting to our destination. Anything worth taking our eyes off the road for is worth pulling over for so that we can make that phone call or send that text message while we’re in a safe location away from traffic. It’s just not worth it to risk a fatal collision by looking away even for just a few seconds.
Maintain Plenty of Space Between Your Vehicle and Trucks
The ideal approach to sharing the road with trucks is to safely spend as little time near them as possible. In terms of sheer size and weight, it’s no contest between them and cars since trucks are so much larger and more forceful. Planning ahead and assuming that unexpected movements may occur will help you avoid accidents that are totally preventable. This starts with an awareness of your own car and what’s going on around you, including the space immediately behind your car. If you see in your rearview mirror that a truck is quickly approaching you and does not seem to be slowing down, the best response is to move over to get out of the way. Even if this costs you an extra minute or two of slower driving time, it will be well worth it to keep you and your passengers safely out of harm’s way.
If you have been injured in a truck accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. You should not have to pay for the damage from an accident that was not your fault. You need an attorney on your side who understands what you’re going through and will make sure you’re taken care of during this time of need.
Call Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers today at (619) 233-5020 to discuss your options with one of our San Diego truck accident lawyers so you can move on from this devastating experience and get back to living your life. We have successfully fought for many people who were in a similar situation after a traumatic accident. Our satisfied clients are the best endorsement of what you will get when you choose San Diego’s personal injury law firm, Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers. Call us today.