Extra Caution Techniques to Use Around Big Trucks
If you drive in Florida, you are bound to share the road with big trucks. Semi-trailers and other commercial vehicles that are 10,000 pounds or more require a CDL (commercial driver’s license) for operation and their operators receive additional training to drive these vehicles. Nevertheless, there are still thousands of people who die in accidents involving these big trucks. Knowing what you can do to stay safe can may reduce your risk of being involved in an accident, especially if you use extra caution when sharing the road with large trucks.
In 2016, a total of 4,440 individuals lost their lives in large truck accidents on U.S. roadways in 3,864 fatal crashes. In addition, there were over 100,000 injury accidents involving big trucks or buses. These statistics are reported from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA – they also point to the fact that the majority of these fatalities are non-truck occupants, meaning pedestrians, bicyclists or occupants of other vehicles involved in the accident rather than the drivers or occupants in the big trucks.
Avoid Collisions with Big Trucks
It is important to understand the dynamics of big trucks and how to lower your risk of collision when sharing the road with these large vehicles. Although you can easily see them, their drivers may not be able to see you. The visibility around a large truck or bus is diminished due to length and height. Even with larger and extra mirrors, there are much larger blind spots around big trucks. Avoiding these areas is one of the best ways to increase your visibility to the driver. Follow these tips to provide truck drivers the greatest chance of seeing you:
- Avoid driving alongside big trucks — it is best to avoid driving in the lane on either side next to the cab
- Stay at least 30 feet behind big trucks when following
- When passing a large truck, before moving back into the truck’s lane, ensure that you can see the entire truck in your rearview mirror in order to give it enough space
- Look for the driver in the side mirrors; if you cannot see their face, they cannot see you
These tips are important to stay out of blind spots and keep your visibility high for the drivers of big trucks. Keep in mind big trucks can take 40% longer to stop and need more room to avoid hitting another vehicle if they need to come to a quick stop.
Knowing how to safely drive around big trucks may lower your risk of accidents, but you cannot control what a truck driver may do while behind the wheel. If you are in an accident involving a big truck, it may be the fault of the driver of the big truck and you need to know your legal options if you are seriously injured. Tison Law Group offers free consultations to discuss claims against drivers of big trucks and their employers for accidents involving injury or a fatality – just contact our office to schedule an appointment.