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Sharing the road safely with a big truck

A lot of drivers are nervous about sharing the highway with a big rig — and not without good reason! Any accident with a large truck is potentially lethal.

There are some things you can do to make it easier on yourself when you’re traveling down a road with a large truck.

Understand why large trucks are so dangerous.

The size and weight of a large rig make having a “minor” accident almost impossible. Most modern cars are made of lightweight materials like fiberglass and plastic. They can’t withstand the impact from a large truck.

Size and weight aren’t your only concerns, however. Large trucks also take longer to stop, require more space to turn and have larger blind spots than passenger vehicles. You have to change your entire approach when you’re driving near a big truck to stay safe.

Know how to keep yourself out of danger around a truck.

There are some basic safety tips you can follow when you’re near a truck.

1. Avoid the “no zones.”

You need to avoid being in a trucker’s blind spots or “no zones.” The “no zones” are anywhere within 20 feet in front of a large rig, 30 feet behind it and on either side of the truck where you are unable to see the truck driver’s face in their side mirror.

If you find yourself in one of those blind spots, you have two choices: speed up or slow down. Gauge your choices depending on your position and the other traffic and then either accelerate or reduce your speed until you are no longer in one of the blind spots.

2. Exercise some patience.

Patience is a virtue when you’re on the road with a large truck. You can compensate for the difficulties trucks have maneuvering by:

  • Keeping your distance when you’re behind a truck.
  • Not merging into a truck’s lane without giving the truck extra distance.
  • Anticipating wide turns from the truck by keeping your vehicle back from any intersections.

Despite your precautions, you may still end up in an accident due to a truck driver’s negligence. If that happens, promptly contact an attorney in order to protect your interests and your right to compensation.