5 Tips for Avoiding Large Commercial Trucks

August 16th, 2021

photo of large truck behind a passenger vehicle

5 Tips for Avoiding Large Commercial Trucks

Commercial truck collisions are one of the most dangerous accidents that can occur on the road. According to the National Safety Council’s data from 2019, 118,000 large trucks were involved in a crash that resulted in injuries. In that same year, the NSC also reported over 5,000 fatalities as a result of large truck crashes.

A study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) determined the most common factors of large truck crashes. Some of the causes were brake problems, traffic flow interruption, prescription drug use, speeding, unfamiliar roads, roadway problems, over-the-counter drug use, and fatigue.

The FMCSA also states that truck drivers have an 11-hour driving limit which, if driven consistently at 55/60 miles per hour, puts them at over 600 miles on the road. To put that into perspective, the U.S. Census Bureau states that the average driver’s one-way commute to work is only 27.6 minutes.

We all must do our best to share the roads safely among other drivers, especially commercial truck drivers who are on the road longer than the average person and operating a vehicle much larger than your typical car.

Here are five tips to help you drive carefully around large commercial trucks, as supported by the FMCSA.

  • Do not linger in blind spots. Large commercial trucks have bigger blind spots due to their length and rely on your visibility while on the road. If you cannot see a driver with your side mirror, assume that they cannot see you. Do your best to stay visible and slow down or move ahead when possible.
  • Give space before passing. Before you signal to pass a large commercial truck, make sure you can see the driver behind you with your side mirror. Proceed by moving into the left lane and accelerate in order to pass the commercial truck quickly. Always remain visible and stay out of their blind spots.
  • Follow a safe distance to avoid tailgating. Trucks are lifted higher from the ground than regular vehicles, which means they are less likely to see you if you are tailgating. Tailgating is never a good thing because unexpected braking can happen at a moment’s notice. Follow a safe distance of at least four car lengths to avoid an accidental collision.
  • Be mindful of wide turns. Large commercial trucks make very wide turns, so it is important to give them enough space while they’re attempting to make their turn. Do not “block the box” at an intersection or squeeze by, as both can result in an accident.
  • Have patience while driving. Remember to have patience when driving on the road. It is a shared space where we must all do our best to keep each other safe. Driving aggressively, speeding, and switching lanes incessantly can catch another driver off guard and cause an accident.

Keep in mind that accidents may still happen, no matter how careful you drive. If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Flager & Associates today by calling (215) 953-5200. We provide free case evaluations.

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