How to Safely Share the Road With Commercial Trucks

A collision involving a commercial truck can leave you with serious and even life-threatening injuries. To stay safe around these vehicles, it is essential to take certain precautions to ensure an accident does not happen. 

If you or a family member were injured during a collision with a commercial truck, contact the experienced Virginia truck accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp. Our personal injury team can answer any questions you have regarding financial compensation for your injuries, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and walk you through each phase of the claims process.

In the meantime, there are several steps you can take that will help lower your chances of being in an accident with a commercial truck.

Stay Out of Their Blind Spots

Big trucks have big blind spots meaning the truck driver’s view of the vehicles around him is limited. Commercial trucks have blind spots on both sides as well as the front and back of the vehicle.  

When traveling behind or alongside a commercial truck, drivers should be careful to avoid: 

  • Getting too close to the back or front of the truck, especially if you are moving at a high rate of speed 
  • Remaining in a truck’s blind spot any longer than absolutely necessary
  • Merging while in a truck’s blind spot

If you can’t see the truck driver, he can’t see you! Any time you are unable to see the driver in his side view mirror, you are in a blind spot. You should reposition your vehicle as quickly and as safely as possible by slowing down, speeding up, or changing lanes.  

Exercise Caution When Overtaking a Truck

If you absolutely have to overtake a commercial truck, remember that you should: 

  • Not pass the truck until you can see the driver in the side view mirror
  • Always use your turn indicator before gradually proceeding into the lane
  • Never stay in the blind spot any longer than you have to 
  • Speed up slowly 
  • Never get in front of a truck until you it is fully visible in your rearview mirror
  • Never pass a commercial truck on a downhill grade

If a truck is trying to overtake you, decelerate and give the truck plenty of room. You never want to be too close to the back of a truck. 

Give Them Room When They Are Turning

If a truck is making a turn in a lane adjacent to yours, give it lots of space. Trucks need extra room to turn and if your vehicle is too close, it could very likely get pinched between the curb and the turning truck. 

If you are nearing an intersection in a lane adjacent to a truck, be sure that you come to a stop before you touch the white line. Never stop after the line or in the crosswalk. Doing so crowds the truck and can cause an accident. 

Concentrate on Driving

You should drive defensively anytime you are behind the wheel, but it is especially important if you are near a commercial truck. Driving defensively involves focusing solely on your driving and on your surroundings. It includes:

  • Avoiding all distractions, such as the GPS and your cellphone  
  • Being aware of the truck’s speed
  • Paying attention to the distance between you and the truck
  • Never getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, taking drugs, or anything else that could impair your senses or your judgment.  

You should also avoid any aggressive driving maneuvers around commercial trucks, such as cutting them off or swerving around them. A truck’s immense size means they take a lot longer to come to a stop and they cannot maneuver on a dime so any form of aggressive driving increases your odds of a serious accident. 

Call Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp 

If you would like to speak with an experienced Virginia commercial truck accident attorney concerning your truck accident, contact the Norfolk-area personal injury law firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp at (833) 997-1774.  

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