Despite the necessity of commercial vehicles, ranging from large trucks that transport consumer goods to public buses that help get people where they need to be, large commercial vehicles have the potential to be dangerous. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that in 2017, there were 4,889 buses and large trucks involved in crashes throughout the nation; these crashes resulted in 5,005 fatalities.
One thing that you can do to stay safe and reduce your risk of being involved in a commercial vehicle accident is to know how to drive around these larger vehicles. Follow the following advice to reduce your chance of a crash–
- Provide More Distance Between Your Vehicle and Theirs
When you’re driving around a large commercial vehicle, it’s important that you prioritize putting as much distance between yourself and the other vehicle as possible. This is important for a number of reasons, beginning with the fact that the drivers of larger vehicles may have a hard time seeing you, especially if you’re in their blind spots (more on this to follow). What’s more, larger vehicles also need more stopping room than do smaller cars – this means that if you cut in front of a large truck, even if it slams on its brakes, it may not have enough time to stop before hitting you.
- Avoid Blind Spots and “No Zones”
Large vehicles have much larger blind spots than do smaller vehicles. The “no zones” on large trucks and buses include the areas directly behind and in front of the vehicles, as well as directly to the right and left of the vehicles. If you have to pass a commercial vehicle, do so quickly, and make sure that you never hang out in a no zone, tailgate, or cut off a larger vehicle when lane changing.
- Remember that Big Vehicles Make Big Turns
If you drive a small vehicle with a great turning radius, it can be easy to forget that larger vehicles make big turns, and often need to swing wide in order for a turn to be possible. Anticipate wide turns by staying back and never trying to pass a commercial vehicle on the right. It’s not uncommon for a large truck to swing to the left lane before turning right; if your vehicle is on the right of the truck when the turn is initiated, your vehicle could be caught between the vehicle and the curb in an accident type referred to as “squeeze play.”
Call a Lawyer if You’ve Been in a Crash
In addition to the safety tips above, remember that driving distraction-free, maintaining a safe speed limit, and always operating your vehicle while sober are all musts, too.
If you are involved in a crash caused by the negligence of another party, our commercial vehicle accident lawyers at the office of Tetzel Law, LLC can help. Reach out to us today for a free consultation about your legal options and steps to take now to preserve your right to damages.