Share the Road with Semi Trucks Safely with These Tips
Commercial trucks are much larger and heavier than passenger cars, and have limitations that make driving near them more dangerous. Drivers should exercise caution to limit the possibility of a truck accident by practicing safe driving skills when sharing the road with semi trucks.
If you were injured in a commercial truck accident, our Milwaukee truck accident lawyers may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve for the damages you suffered. Request a free legal consultation today.
The Dangers of Driving Near Trucks
Semi trucks have difficulties on the road that are not like passenger cars, increasing the dangers of driving around them. These hazards include:
- Larger blind spots: Semi trucks have several blind spots that extend for long ranges on their sides as well as in the front and back. Truck drivers cannot see other vehicles in these blind spots, making it dangerous to drive in them.
- Longer stopping time and distance: Due to their size and weight, semi trucks take longer to stop. If a sudden hazard arises, trucks may not be able to stop safely in time to avoid it.
- Slower to react: Due to their size, semi trucks cannot react to traffic situations as quickly as passenger cars. Merging and making lane changes take longer in a truck than a passenger car.
- Wider turns: Trucks need more space to safely turn, especially when turning right. Underestimating this space can put passenger cars in the path of the turn, causing a collision.
- Impacted by wind: Large trailers can act almost like a sail, so when heavy winds blow they are harder to control. A truck’s trailer could be blown over, causing a collision.
Tips for Safely Driving Near Trucks
Keep yourself and your passengers safe when driving alongside semi trucks on the road. Practice these safe driving tips whenever you encounter commercial trucks on the road:
Avoid Driving in Blind Spots
Trucks have many blind spots where they cannot see your vehicle when you drive within them. Blind spots on a truck are:
- 20 feet in front of the cab
- 30 feet from the rear of the trailer
- To the left, from the cab back to about the middle of the trailer, one lane wide
- To the right, from the cab at an angle to the area behind the trailer, extending two lanes wide
Allow Extra Space
Trucks need significantly more space for safe following, lane changing, turning and other maneuvers. Trucks require more time to brake, so give yourself plenty of distance when you drive in front of or next to them.
Avoid turning from the inner lane next to a truck. Trucks need up to 55 feet to make a turn. If you squeeze in this lane, your vehicle could be hit as the truck turns. Do not go over the white line when stopped at an intersection, as trucks need all available space to turn safely.
When passing a truck, try to do so on the truck’s left side to avoid blind spots. Give yourself more space, and make sure you can see the truck in your rearview mirror before moving back into the lane in front of the truck. When a truck is passing you, stay in the right lane and slow your speed. This allows the truck to pass quickly and helps keep you out of the blind spot.
Keep Your Speed Consistent
Truck drivers cannot react to speed changes as quickly as passenger vehicle drivers can. If your speed fluctuates, the truck driver experiences more difficulty, and cannot adjust as quickly.
Maintaining a steady speed will help you avoid collisions caused because the truck driver cannot slow down quickly enough.
Contact a Lawyer for Help
Even if you drive carefully around semi trucks, accidents can still occur due to truck driver negligence. In cases where the truck driver or trucking company is liable for your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, as well as property damage and other damages suffered in the accident.
PKSD’s experienced Milwaukee truck accident attorneys can help you pursue legal action against the responsible parties to seek the maximum compensation you deserve. Request a free, no obligation consultation to learn what legal options are available in your case. There are no upfront fees and you only owe us for services if we recover compensation for you.