How to Accommodate Trucks on the Highway
In 2017, truck accidents led to 4,102 deaths in the United States. Since 68 percent of those killed were in cars or passenger vehicles, it is important to give trucks the space that they need to operate safely. Let’s take a look at some ways that you can coexist with a commercial vehicle on the highway.
Stay Out of a Driver’s Blind Spots
While modern commercial trucks are equipped with lots of rearview mirrors and cameras, blind spots are still an issue. If you can’t see a truck driver, assume that he or she cannot see you. In the event that you need to change lanes or otherwise pass a larger vehicle, do so as quickly as possible. The longer that you stay in a truck driver’s blind spot, the higher the odds of an accident occurring.
Increase Your Following Distance
It is relatively easy for a passenger vehicle to stop suddenly or take evasive action with little warning. However, large trucks have much more difficulty stopping or swerving out of the way of obstacles. Therefore, it is important that you increase your following distance when driving behind a commercial vehicle. This can be an especially important tip to follow if the road is covered by ice or snow or is wet.
Don’t Change Lanes When a Truck Is Changing Lanes
When you see that the turn signal on a truck is flashing, you should be ready for the truck to change lanes or make a turn. Since a truck needs more time and space to change lanes or turn at a traffic light, you should not change lanes until the truck does. Changing lanes along with a truck is never a good idea.
Don’t Be Afraid to Report an Impaired Driver
If you notice that a truck is swerving, braking in an inconsistent manner or otherwise being driven in an aggressive way, don’t hesitate to call the police. You could also choose to call the customer service number that may be listed on the side or back of the commercial vehicle to report unprofessional driving. In the event that you do encounter a dangerous driver, you can either pull over to the side of the road or exit the highway when it is safe to do so.
Don’t Drive While Distracted
In a collision with a commercial vehicle, there is a greater chance that you and your passengers will get hurt. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to your surroundings if you are in close proximity to a large truck. It only takes a split second for your car to slide under a truck or get run off the road because you didn’t notice a larger vehicle attempt to make a lane change.
If you are involved in a collision with a big rig, a truck accident lawyer may be able to review your case and help you better understand your rights. Common reasons for behind-the-wheel distractions include using a smartphone, talking to others in the vehicle or trying to eat or drink while driving.
Always Wear Your Seat Belt
While wearing a seat belt won’t change your chances of getting into an accident, it can help keep you safe in the event that a collision occurs. It is estimated that 50 percent of crash deaths are attributed to those who don’t wear a safety belt while driving or riding in a vehicle. It is also important that your passengers wear their seat belts regardless of whether they are sitting in the front or back of your vehicle.
In the aftermath of a truck accident, you may have many questions about how you could obtain compensation for your damages. With help from a truck accident lawyer from RAM Law, you can file a personal injury claim. Give us a call at our New Brunswick office by dialing (732) 247-3600. You can also call our Somerville office at (908) 448-2560.