It's not often that you'll find yourself on the highway without being in close proximity to commercial trucks. For this reason, you must have a clear idea of the steps you can take to properly share the road with these colossal vehicles.
While it's your hope that every trucker obeys the rules of the road, there's no way of knowing when someone will make a mistake or take a risk. Fortunately, when you're doing everything you can to avoid trouble, it's easier to remain safe.
Here are five tips for safely sharing the highway with commercial trucks:
- Defensive driving is a must: Forget about what everyone else is doing, and focus on driving defensively at all times. Just because a trucker is driving in an aggressive manner doesn't mean you have to retaliate. Defensive drivers are much more likely to reach their destination without incident.
- Keep a safe following distance: Driving too closely to a commercial truck increases the risk of an accident, as you may not be able to stop in time in the event of an emergency. Also, the closer you drive to a truck the more likely you are to slip into the trucker's blind spot.
- Only pass in the left lane: You may be tempted to pass a truck on the right, but this increases the risk of an accident. Use the left lane when passing, and always make sure you leave enough space before pulling back in front of the truck.
- Use turn signals: This is important whether you're driving on the highway or in the city, as turn signals give every other driver an idea of your next move.
- Don't use your high beams: When driving behind or toward a truck (or any other vehicle), don't use your bright lights as this can cause temporary blindness.
Following these five tips for sharing the highway with commercial trucks will go a long way in keeping you safe. Unfortunately, it's no guarantee that you won't be part of a car-truck accident.
If a truck strikes your vehicle, immediately check yourself for injuries and call 911 for help. Stay where you are, administer first aid and let police and paramedics take over upon arriving.
During your recovery, take the time necessary to learn more about your legal rights and any steps you can take to seek compensation from the trucker and their employer.