Personal Injury Lawyer

Accidents happen unexpectedly. Fortunately, through small habit changers, drivers can reduce their risk of being involved in an accident that results in injury, damage to personal property, and loss of life. When sharing the road with large commercial vehicles, such as tractor trailers, it is the personal duty of every other driver to make decisions that consider their limitations, traffic, weather, and road conditions, in addition to traffic and safety laws.

By taking a more mindful approach to car travel, day by day the roads can become a safer place for everyone. As a personal injury lawyer that specializes in truck accident related claims can explain, commercial trucks and their operators are commonly the cause of serious accidents, but despite this there are important things that civilian drivers can do to reduce the overall likelihood of an accident occurring.

Give them space.

The weight of a fully loaded commercial truck can exceed 40 tons, for that reason and other limitations, accidents involving large commercial trucks commonly cause serious injury, permanent disability, disfigurement, catastrophic damages, and loss of life. There are immense forces involved in accidents with large trucks that make them particularly devastating.

Passenger Vehicle Driving Tips for Highway Travel

Merging in front of trucks.

Merging in front of large trucks with too little space decreases the amount of time they have to react and to brake if they need to. Fully loaded commercial trucks need more time and space than a sedan to brake and maneuver safely. 

  • Four seconds is the general minimum amount of time between your vehicle and a large vehicle at speeds of 46-70 mph.
  • Add one second to that 4 second minimum for every 10 feet in length. 

Merging in front of trucks when approaching a stoplight.

Similar to traveling at highway speeds, large and heavy vehicles need more space and time to maneuver. By speeding to get in front of a truck that is coming to a complete stop, the amount of time and space they have to make a safe stop decreases. It is best to avoid doing this when approaching a red light at an intersection with more than one lane so as to not cause an accident.

Failing to yield to trucks merging onto highway or interstate.

During highway or interstate travel be especially aware of large vehicles like trucks or buses that are merging into traffic. It is always good practice to scan far ahead for merging vehicles and move over to allow enough space for others to safely merge before their merging lane ends. This action is not only courteous, it is also for safety for everyone on the highway.

Impatience behaviors around trucks that are parking, backing up, or blocking lanes.

This tip applies most appropriately to town and city driving. Drivers need to be patient with large trucks that are performing maneuvers such as parking, backing out. These maneuvers will undoubtedly block traffic at times, drivers of small vehicles need to practice patience and consider the limitations of the larger vehicle that has vast blind spots. 

Safety is the top priority of most commercial truck drivers, when civilian drivers are inconsiderate, it makes their job much more difficult. Truck drivers often work long hours and are under pressure to meet deadlines. When other drivers on the road are inconsiderate of large trucks’ natural limitations, it makes safe driving much more of a challenge.

Thanks to Hall-Justice for their expertise on the subject of truck safety.