7 Tips for Driving Next to Semi-Trucks
April 5, 2018
Accidents involving commercial trucks and passenger vehicles can be devastating. Due to the size and weight of a commercial semi-truck, these types of collisions can result in victims suffering severe injuries or even death.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, the Phoenix truck accident attorneys of Phillips Law Group are here to help. We have worked with many victims of commercial truck accidents by helping them recover the compensation they deserve after suffering a life-altering injury.
Below, our Phoenix personal injury attorneys have provided the following safety tips to help you drive safely while traveling near commercial trucks:
1. Steer Clear of Blind Spots
A commercial truck generally has more blind spots that block a larger amount of space than a passenger vehicle. This can make it much more difficult for a truck driver to see an approaching vehicle.
When driving around a commercial truck, try to avoid the following areas:
- 20 feet ahead of the truck
- 30 feet behind the truck
- The lane on the driver’s side extending back to half of the trailer’s length
- Two lanes wide on the truck’s right side
Also, it is important to remember that a truck driver may not be able to see you if you cannot see him or her in the truck’s mirrors.
2. Always Use Your Signals
Commercial trucks are larger and heavier than most other vehicles sharing the roadway. Because of their size, these vehicles require more time and distance to maneuver through traffic.
An important safety tip you should always follow while traveling around a commercial truck is to use your turn signals before you change lanes around one of these vehicles.
Using your turn signals will allow the truck driver to see your intentions and adjust accordingly, so you can make your movement safely and avoid a collision.
3. Give the Truck Space
Always provide plenty of space while driving next to a commercial truck. These vehicles require more space on the roadway than passenger vehicles do.
A truck can take up two lanes when making a wide turn. Never pass a truck that is turning right on the right side, as you could be trapped between the truck and the curb.
Furthermore, driving too close to a commercial truck increases the likelihood of being involved in an accident. This can occur when:
- The commercial truck breaks suddenly, causing the vehicle to tip over or your vehicle to slide under its trailer
- High winds cause rollovers
- Tire blowouts, that could hit your vehicle or shatter your windshield
Always drive at least four seconds behind a commercial truck to give the driver plenty of space and yourself enough time to react to the truck’s movements.
4. Pass Safely
Because commercial trucks require more time to stop and maneuver through traffic, you should exercise caution when passing a commercial truck.
Additionally, drivers of semi-trucks may decrease or increase their speed while traveling uphill or downhill, so try not to pass the vehicle in these areas.
Also, it is easier for a truck driver to see you if you are traveling on the truck’s left side. Pass on the left while maintaining your speed and signaling properly. Wait to merge back into the truck’s lane until you can view its driver in your rearview mirror.
Furthermore, when a truck is passing you, keep right and reduce your speed. This allows the truck driver more space for safe passing and gets you out of the truck’s blind spot faster.
5. Adjust Your Headlights
Always keep in mind that your headlights could blind a truck driver as they reflect off the truck’s large mirrors. The bright light from your vehicle’s headlights could impair the truck’s driver and may affect his or her ability to safely operate the vehicle.
For this reason, you should lower your vehicle’s high beams anytime you see an oncoming truck or other vehicle approaching you on the roadway.
6. Avoid Distractions
Distractions while driving take your focus off the road and controlling your vehicle, putting everyone on the road in danger. You should always stay focused on the roadway while driving and avoid distractions such as:
- Making phone calls
- Having conversations with passengers in your vehicle
- Using a GPS or electronic devices
- Adjusting the radio or your vehicle’s features
7. Wear Your Seatbelt
In Arizona, all front seat occupants of a vehicle as well as passengers under age 16 are required by law to wear seat belts.
Wearing a seat belt will protect you in the event of a truck accident and is one of the most effective measures you can take to reduce the risk of suffering an injury or death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Contact Phillips Law Group Now
A truck accident can cause victims to suffer serious injuries that can result in permanent disability or death. For this reason, it is imperative that you exercise caution when driving near a semi-truck on the roadway.
However, if you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, contact the Phillips Law Group. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping truck accident victims recover the compensation they deserve for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We will investigate your claim to determine if you have a case against a negligent truck driver.
We will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation so that you can learn the legal options available for pursuing compensation after a truck accident. Our firm does not charge our clients upfront fees for our services. We only get paid if we recover compensation for your claim.
Call 1-800-706-3000 to get started today.
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