The category “large trucks” is, well, a large one. It includes every truck from a 10,000-pound box truck for local deliveries to an 80,000-pound, thirteen-foot-tall tractor-trailer.
One thing all these trucks have in common is their ability to outweigh a passenger vehicle by several tons. When a car, pickup, or minivan collides with a large truck, the passengers in the smaller vehicle usually suffer the worst of the crash.
But you can help yourself avoid becoming a statistic. Here are three ways to drive more safely around large trucks:
1. Pass safely.
Large trucks have large blind spots – big enough to fit most passenger vehicles inside easily. These blind spots appear on both sides of the truck as well as directly in front of and behind it.
To pass a large truck safely:
• Pass on the left, never on the right.
• Maintain a steady speed so the driver can more easily “track” as you pass through the blind spot.
• Wait to move into the lane in front of the truck until you can see the truck’s entire front grill and headlights in your rearview mirror.
2. Give them extra space.
Create a following distance of at least four seconds between you and a truck that is in front of you. The extra space allows you to see what’s on the road ahead, and it gives you time to get out of the way if the truck brakes suddenly, swerves, has a tire blowout, or is buffeted by a high wind. Make sure your following distance lets you see the truck’s mirrors: if you can’t see the mirrors, the driver cannot see you.
3. Stay alert.
You’re driving the smaller vehicle, which means that you have the advantage in an emergency when it comes to quick braking, swerving, or turning. Use this fact to keep both yourself and the truck driver safer by staying alert as you approach or pass large trucks. Make it your goal to pass quickly, so that the truck’s driver sees you for the maximum amount of time. Of course, in a construction zone, never try to pass a truck – just maintain a steady, legal speed, and keep your eyes peeled for road hazards.
Shaw Cowart has the best Austin, Texas Semi-Truck Crash Attorneys with a highly effective and experienced team determined to fight for your rights, and ensure that you and your family receive the compensation you deserve. Contact Shaw Cowart today for a free consultation.