Any motor vehicle accident can cause victims to suffer serious injuries. However, the chances they will suffer catastrophic injuries that cause permanent disability and major changes in their lives are magnified if the crash involves a semi, tanker, bus, or another large commercial vehicle.
Many of these tragic wrecks are caused by the negligence of truck drivers and transportation companies.
While you cannot control the actions of truckers and their employers, you can take steps when driving on Florida roads to keep you and your family safe.
Safety Rules of the Road to Follow Around Trucks
When considering how to drive safely around big rigs, tankers, and other commercial haulers, it's important to remember their inherent limitations. These vehicles have blind spots, longer stopping distances, and limited maneuverability.
Here are tips on how to drive around large commercial vehicles:
- Avoid blind spots. An operator won't see you if you're in the blind spots, which are directly in front or in back of the truck, or along the sides. Usually the rule to remember is if you can't see the truck's mirrors, the operator can't see you.
- Pass safely. Once again, use the truck mirrors to your advantage. Be certain you see the driver in his side mirror before passing his truck, then signal and pass quickly to minimize the time in the blind spots. You also need to see the truck in your rearview mirror before pulling in front of it, and allow ample space between you.
- Avoid cutting in. When merging into a lane in front of a large vehicle, you never want to cut in too closely. These commercial carriers take longer to slow down than motor vehicles, and the trucker may not have sufficient time to reduce his speed if you cut in front of him.
- Don’t follow too closely. The American Trucking Association provides this surprising fact: not only should you never tailgate a truck, but also make sure to allow 20-25 car lengths between the two of you. You have to be certain to have time to react if the trucker needs to stop suddenly. This helps you avoid a dangerous underride collision.
- Expect wide turns. Truckers often have to swing wide or start a turn from the middle rather than the left or right lanes. Anticipate this and give a large vehicle extra space when you see its turn signal.
Unfortunately, a negligent trucker could cause you or a loved one to suffer serious injuries in a commercial vehicle accident no matter how carefully you drive. Our experienced and trusted car accident attorneys are here to fight for the compensation that you deserve. Fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation to get your questions answered.