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Defensive Driving: Sharing the Road with Big Trucks

In many of our posts regarding defensive driving, we have addressed how being a vigilant and courteous driver can help you to avoid a potentially life-threatening automobile accident. We even discussed defensive driving techniques for motorcyclists and how car and truck drivers can share the road with motorcycle riders. Today, we are going to discuss techniques for sharing the road with big rigs. There is nothing on the road larger than a semi-truck, and like a motorcycle and a car getting in an accident, the smaller vehicle normally loses. Someone is going to be hurt or killed. With so much at stake, it pays to understand how to share the road with these large vehicles.

Never Ride in a Truck’s Blind spot

We all make mistakes , but people do it every day. Maybe it is because they don’t know where a trucks blind spot is or that trucks even have blind spots. Well, a truck’s blind spots are in the rear, the right rear, the right front corner, and the mid-left side. Avoid these spots. Don’t ride along in a truck’s blind spot. The driver can’t see you, and might just change lanes—right over the top of your car.

Don’t Cut Off a Semi Truck

Physics tells us that the bigger something is, the more inertia it has, the longer it takes to come to rest—i.e. stop. Trucks are big. They take a long time to stop. If you cut one off in traffic, don’t expect the driver to be able to brake as fast as you do. He can’t. He will go right over you. Don’t turn yourself into a speed bump.

Don’t Hassle a Truck Driver for going too fast

It’s not your job to enforce the rules of the road, and in most cases, trucks are given a little slack when it comes to maintaining speed. Trucks need to anticipate things like hills and turns; they often accelerate or brake long before other motorists. Don’t ride along beside a truck yelling at the driver. You’re probably in his blind spot anyway.

Give Trucks Plenty of Room to Make Lane Changes

Many people have trouble driving their 14-foot cars. Imagine driving something that is 48-foot long and 18 feet high. Give truckers a break when they are changing lanes or merging. It’s not easy. Be a considerate driver and slow down, flash your lights, and let them make their lane changes.

Don’t Pass a Truck on the Right Side at an Intersection

This is known as the right hand squeeze. You are in a trucker’s blind spot. They make wide right hand turns and often use the left lane for more room to maneuver. If you try to pass, there’s a distinct possibility they will turn right into you or over you.

It’s the responsibility of every motorist to be considerate and vigilant while they on are on the road. Truck drivers are more vigilant than most, but accidents do happens and sometimes truck drivers are negligent or distracted. If you have been the victim of a car accident due to a truck driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. At our firm, we focus on personal injury claims due to automobile accidents. If you would like to discuss your case, please contact us through the form found on this site. We would love to help you in any way we can.