Tips on Avoiding Accidents With Heavy-Duty Trucks

Did you know that 20% of car accidents in Laredo involve heavy-duty trucks? This also means you’re chances of getting into an accident with a large truck increase. However, there are some steps you can take to stay safe on Texas roads and highways.

If you’re getting ready to hit the road in Laredo, here are some tips on how to avoid getting into an accident with a commercial truck.

Avoid Tailgating

What is tailgating? If you’re riding too close to another vehicle’s bumper, it’s referred to as tailgating. While it’s dangerous to drive too closely behind any type of vehicle, heavy-duty trucks present a greater danger since they make wide turns and need more time to come to a complete stop, and heavy-duty trucks are also prone to tire blowouts due to the weight of their loads.

To avoid getting into an accident with a truck, make sure you leave at least four inches of space between your vehicle and the truck, so don’t drive beside a turning truck. Sometimes, a truck takes up two lanes to make a turn, so you should also avoid passing a truck on the right side since you run the risk of getting trapped between the truck and the curb.

Watch for Blind Spots

Blind spots are areas where the truck driver cannot see your vehicle, and they may not even know that you’re in their blind spot—so, how can you stay safe? Well, you can follow a few simple rules:

  • Keep more than 20 feet between your vehicle and the front of the truck
  • Never drive closer than 30 feet behind a truck
  • Try to keep two lanes between you and the driver’s side of the truck

A good tip to remember is if you can’t see the truck driver, they probably aren’t aware you’re driving beside them. Oh, and don’t be fooled by a truck’s large side-view mirrors, they have their own respective limitations.

Always Pass as Quickly as Possible

Driving beside a truck and getting them to honk the air horn is fun, but try to refrain from this behavior—instead, concentrate on passing the truck as quickly and safely as possible. Try to only pass on the left since there’s a large blind spot on the driver’s side. On top of this, you may also get trapped if the truck starts turning.

When you’re going up or downhill, don’t pass—instead wait until the road evens out before making an attempt. Before getting in front of a moving truck make sure you can see the driver. This way, you know the driver also sees your vehicle. Remember, not only is the truck driver up high but there’s also a very large hood in their line of sight.

Don’t Pass a Turning Truck

When a truck is turning, stay back and don’t try to pass. Sometimes, a truck will take up multiple lanes during a turn, which also applies when a truck is turning at a traffic light. Sometimes, it’s best to wait until the next green light. You may spend a couple more minutes on the road but it’s better than getting into an accident with a heavy-duty truck.

Be Cautious if Pulling Over on the Highway

Sometimes, you need to pull off the road. Maybe you’re lost and need to recalibrate your navigational system, or you may also be experiencing car trouble. Whatever the reason, use extreme caution before pulling off the road, which also applies when exiting your vehicle.

Use your hazard lights to warn other drivers your vehicle is on the shoulder. You also want to check the traffic behind you—remember, it takes trucks longer to slow down and stop. The last thing you want is for a truck to hit your vehicle as you’re pulling off the road.

Always Use Turn Signals

This should be an automatic reflex—every time you change lanes or make a turn, use your blinkers. Letting a truck driver know your intentions is an effective way of preventing an accident, and you can also receive a traffic ticket for failing to use turn signals. The fine is relatively inexpensive, but it’s also really easy for you to avoid.

Don’t Be a Distracted Driver

An important rule of being a safe driver is never to take your eyes off the road, which means not looking away to fiddle with a radio station or glancing down at your smartphone. Keeping your eyes on the road and being aware of your surroundings will help you stay safe, even when there’s a line of heavy-duty trucks on the road.

Talk to An Attorney If You’re Involved in a Truck Accident

Unfortunately, accidents involving heavy-duty trucks happen, so if you’re involved in an accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. 

Your attorney will work to ensure you receive compensation for any injuries and property damage.

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