Every driver gets a little nervous around commercial trucks. Fortunately, you can avoid most truck accidents by practicing safe driving habits.
The key to avoiding an accident is defensive driving. Truck accidents often result when drivers fail to adjust their driving to accommodate commercial trucks' limited performance capabilities regarding acceleration, braking, and visibility.
Here are five ways to drive defensively and avoid truck accidents:
- Stay visible. Your risk of getting into a truck accident dramatically increase when you drive in a commercial truck's "No Zone," the areas behind and beside the truck where the truck driver has limited or zero visibility. Also, avoid driving between large trucks or maneuvering to the right of a truck that is making a right turn.
- Carefully change lanes. Never change lanes abruptly in front of a truck. Make sure to sufficiently accelerate before you pull in front of a truck. Slow down or speed up when a truck begins to change lanes or merge.
- Assess the truck's speed. Don't forget to assess the truck's speed when driving. For example, if you aren't sure about an approaching truck's speed at an intersection, don't make a left turn in front the truck. Instead, wait for the truck to pass.
- Pass defensively. Sufficient headway is essential to safe passing. When it comes to passing, keep that rearview mirror mantra near and dear: "objects appear closer than they appear." Also, beware weather conditions and being blown out of position by air turbulence or cross-wind when passing a truck.
- Don't force abrupt maneuvers. Many truck accidents result when a truck is forced to maneuver or brake abruptly. This can happen when you merge improperly in traffic, abandon or remain in a vehicle in a travel lane, or fail to get your stalled car completely off the highway and onto the shoulder.
If you've been in a truck accident, you'll want to consult an experienced truck accident lawyer to explore your legal options.
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