Take These Steps to Keep Your Family Safe When Sharing the Road With Trucks
While you can never totally prevent all risks of a truck accident, you can take steps to reduce the chances that you and your family are injured in one. While many crashes are caused by negligent truckers, in some cases, the passenger vehicle driver is the negligent party. You can avoid some of these dangerous situations by understanding some of the challenges truck drivers face in driving a truck. These include lack of easy maneuverability, longer time to slow and stop, and large blind spots around the truck. In addition, following safety measures when driving near trucks can also be a proactive measure that could save your life.
What Are a Truck’s Blind Spots?
One danger that you must be aware of to stay safe is the truck’s blind spots—also referred to as its no-zones. no-zones are huge blind spot areas surrounding the truck where your vehicle disappears from the trucker’s view, making a collision much more likely. This can be especially dangerous if the trucker has to suddenly stop or swerve out of the way of another vehicle or obstacle on the road. Dangerous truck blind spots include:
Side no-zones. Trucks have huge blind spots on both sides of the truck where the trucker cannot see a driver in his side view mirrors. The largest no-zone is on the truck’s right side.
Front no-zone. This is the blind spot directly in front of a truck and encompasses the lane the truck is in and the one to its right.
Rear no-zone. A truck has a huge blind spot behind it, and the trucker cannot see you are doing when you are in it.
Backing-up no-zone. Trucks have no rear-view mirrors so the trucker cannot see a motorist or pedestrian that tries to cut in when they are backing up.
Follow These Tips for Driving Safely Near a Truck
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a federal agency that regulates the trucking industry, has Ten Rules of the Road for preventing a truck accident. Their recommendations include the following:
Avoid the truck’s blind spots whenever possible. Be extremely careful when passing or merging near a truck as you will most likely be in his blind spot.
Pass safely by being sure that you can see the trucker in his mirror before passing and signal that you are doing so. Be certain that you can see the truck in your rearview mirror before pulling in front to ensure that you have enough space to safely change lanes.
Do not cut in too close in front of a truck. The trucker may not be able to slow down quickly enough.
Do not tailgate or get too close to a truck’s back-end as you will be in the trucker’s blind spot and could cause a rear-end collision that results in your own serious injuries.
Anticipate that a truck may make a wide turn—sometimes too wide—when turning and give the truck a lot of space.
Be patient with a truck driver. He has additional operating restrictions that he must follow to be a safe driver.
Stay focused on your driving and avoid distractions, such as talking on your cellphone, texting, or eating.
Wear your seat belt any time you are in a vehicle. Insist anyone in your vehicle do so as well, and teach your children to always buckle up.
Do not drive when you are fatigued. It can be as dangerous as drunk driving.
Do not drive if you have consumed any drugs or alcohol. Any amount of these substances can impair your driving abilities.
Even if you follow these safety precautions, a negligent trucker could cause you or a family member to suffer injuries in a truck wreck. For help with filing your claim and negotiating your settlement, fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.