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4 Ways to Drive Safely Near Trucks

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The United States has over four million miles of roads that are mostly two-lane highways. These paved freeways and interstates are perfect for performance cars to show their maximum potential. Thousands of vehicles share these roads every day: cars and trucks being the most common. The government does its best to install safety signs and good infrastructure, but, unfortunately, accidents still happen.

Drivers and passengers of small vehicles suffer the most injuries during an accident that involves a truck. A car driver using highways frequented by trucks must always prepare for the risk of a crash. Drivers can arm themselves with information and contact details from informational pages such as https://ckflaw.com/semi-truck-accident-lawyer/semi-truck-accident-claims-car-accidents/. It will ensure that in the event of an accident, you know what to do to best protect yourself.

The US Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System shows that in 2017, there were 4.102 fatalities caused by truck crashes. 68% were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles. To avoid being included in the statistics, a car driver must follow these life-saving tips:

1. Keep a Safe Distance

When driving behind a truck, leave more space than you would driving behind a small car. Leave at least three seconds of space. If a car gets too close to a larger vehicle, it limits the driver’s visibility of the road ahead. There is also a higher chance of failing to see hazards like road construction or dangerous road conditions.

Having enough space will provide ample time for the driver to react to sudden stops and emergencies. Remember that trucks need 90% more space to stop than cars. Also avoid cutting too close to a truck.

2. Exercise Extreme Caution When Passing

A US semi-truck weighs a jaw-dropping 80.000 pounds spread over 18 wheels in some cases. It cannot maneuver nor stop as quickly and seamlessly as a passenger vehicle. Truck drivers need ample time to react and adjust their speed. So, it is not advisable to pass a truck while going uphill or downhill.

Always pass a truck on the left side. It makes it easier for the driver to see a vehicle smaller than his truck. Maintain speed and use proper signals.

A car driver can safely merge back in front of the truck when he can see the driver clearly in the rearview mirror.

3. Be Wary of Turning Trucks

A car driver must exercise extreme caution when he encounters a turning truck at an intersection. Trucks usually swing wide during a turn. This situation is dangerous for other vehicles. It is wise to steer clear of the truck’s blind spot during turns.

A truck’s blind spot includes 20 feet in front and 30 feet behind the truck. The lane on the driver’s side that goes all the way to about half of the trailer’s length is also considered a danger zone.

4. Pull-Over at a Safe Part of the Road

Some crashes happen when a car pulls over and gets hit by a distracted truck driver. Always make sure that the entire vehicle is off the road if there is a need to pull off the highway. Never stop in the middle of the roadway.

There are also safety features inspired by the racing world that can protect a car driver from severe injuries. Choose a vehicle with high-quality seatbelts and rearview mirrors will save lives.

If a driver still encounters accidents even after following these safety tips, he has an ally with an excellent truck accident lawyer.

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