Five Tips for Safely Driving Around Commercial Trucks

Safety training for driving near 18-wheelers is a topic that is rarely touched upon in driver’s education classes. Attempting to pass a truck improperly or driving in a truck’s “no zones” can cause devastating accidents which almost always result in serious injuries to the involved parties. The following tips can help you avoid being involved in a truck accident and ensure safe passage around commercial vehicles.

  1. Stay out of a truck’s blind spots: Large semi-trucks have massive blind spots located at the front, back, and sides of the vehicle. Truck drivers cannot see anyone who is driving in these areas. Commonly referred to as “no zones,” these spots are extremely dangerous and should be avoided by other drivers at all costs. If a truck driver cannot see you, they may turn into your car on accident. Remember, if you cannot see the truck driver’s mirrors, they can’t see you either.
  2. Always pass on the left: When passing a truck, try to do so as quickly as possible and stick to the outside of the lane. Passing on the left is safer than passing on the right as the right side is full of blind spots. There is a reason why so many trucks have stickers claiming the left is the “passing side” while the right is “suicide.”
  3. Give enough space before changing lanes: If you are looking to change lanes in front of a truck, wait until you can see the front of the truck in your rearview mirror before moving over. Swerving in front of a truck is extremely dangerous, as it can take a truck traveling at 65 mph up to the length of a football field to come to a complete stop. If you suddenly need to hit the brakes and you are too close in front, you will almost certainly be rear ended.
  4. Give turning trucks plenty of space: Trucks sometimes need to swing wide to the left to safely make a right turn. This will often create a gap on the right side that appears wide enough for a car to pass. Do not attempt to squeeze through his space! As the truck makes its turn, it will swing back over to the right and can strike any vehicles in this area. To make matters worse, truck drivers will only be able to see the side of their trailer as the truck turns. If a truck is turning in front of you, keep your distance.
  5. Beware of the “sail” effect: Trucks can be blown over in high winds due to their tall structure. The large surface area of a truck’s trailer can make them catch air similar to a sail and cause them to tip over. Do not drive next to commercial trucks during windstorms!

Contact a Shreveport Truck Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured in a truck accident, a knowledgeable Shreveport truck accident attorney from Simmons, Morris & Carrol LLC can advocate for fair compensation on your behalf. With more than 70 years of combined personal injury experience, our attorneys can provide the results-driven representation you need to help you get through this difficult time.

To get started towards filing a claim, call (888) 492-5532 or contact us online today.

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