Many motorists get a little nervous passing a truck on the highway—and it’s totally understandable. With large blind spots and turning radiuses, a poorly trained or impaired truck driver could cause serious injury to another motorist.
A truck accident can have serious consequences. Statistics indicate that during a truck accident, the driver or passengers of the other vehicle are more likely to sustain serious injury or even death than the driver of the truck.
Unsurprisingly, truck accidents happen for the same reason that many other traffic accidents happen—distracted driving, poor weather, and mechanical problems. The major difference is the size of the vehicle. Not only do truck drivers need to navigate a heavier, larger vehicle, but that size also means that they cause more damage.
Sharing the Road with Trucks
Truck drivers can get just as frustrated with passenger car drivers as passenger car drivers get with truck drivers. Sometimes, sharing the road can seem like a nuisance. However, following these safety tips can make navigating the nation’s roadways easier and less stressful for everyone.
Stay Clear of Blind Spots
There are four blind spots that spell danger to other drivers. Driving in those blind spots means the truck driver is unable to see you and take you into account when he or she changes lanes, turns, or stops.
To stay clear of danger, ensure you are far enough behind a truck that you can see its mirrors. If you are in front, you want to be about three seconds ahead of the truck so that the truck can see your brake lights if need be. If you are on either side of a truck, you should either calmly pass the truck or hang back out of the side blind spots.
Pass on the Left
When passing a truck, do so on the left. This allows for better visibility. Give the truck driver plenty of berth, and if you are merging back into the truck’s lane, ensure that you are far enough ahead of him that he has ample room to safely stop or slow down if need be.
Provide Ample Room
If you are right behind a truck, there’s a good chance you may miss it slowing down or stopping. Trucks are often rear-ended by distracted drivers who are following them too closely. Allow a truck a berth of about four seconds.
Don’t Cut Off a Truck
Trucks are heavy and take longer to slow down. Merging right in front of a truck can create a dangerous situation, especially if the truck is moving at a faster speed. When merging in front of a truck, make sure the truck has enough time to react to your movements.
Use Your Turn Signals
Signaling that you are turning well in advance allows truck drivers to react appropriately with enough time. As previously mentioned, it takes longer for a truck to slow down. By signaling that you are turning, you provide the truck driver (and other drivers) with information about why they may need to do. For example, if you are slowing down for a turn, a truck driver can anticipate that deceleration and begin theirs earlier.
Consulting a Tampa Truck Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, a skilled Tampa truck accident attorney can help you decide what your next steps should be. Seeking compensation through the civil court system can provide you with a sense of justice after suffering an injury at someone else’s hands. In addition, compensation can help ensure your medical bills are paid for and that you are able to receive any necessary medical care in the future.
You shouldn’t be left with a mountain of bills because of someone else’s negligence. Consult with a Tampa truck accident attorney today to learn how filing a claim can help you get your life back on track.