Avoiding Truck Accidents 101: How to Drive Safely Around Large Trucks

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 40,882 commercial vehicle crashes recorded in the state in the year 2016, with many of these crashes involving large trucks and resulting in tragic injuries or fatalities. In 2017, there have already been 3,358 commercial vehicle crashes in Florida, and more than 200 traffic fatalities reported.

While large trucks are integral to the economy, bringing us essential goods and products, they can do a lot of damage when involved in an accident. In fact, large trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which is about 20 times that of an average car. When the two collide, the damages can be catastrophic.

Luckily, there are somethings that you can do to improve your safety and reduce your risk of being involved in a large truck accident. Here are some tips for navigating the road around big rigs–

Give Yourself A Lot of Distance

One mistake that drivers make when navigating around large trucks is failing to provide enough room between themselves and the truck. You should give yourself a lot of distance when near a large truck on the road, especially when driving at high speeds. This is true whether you are following the truck, being followed, or driving parallel to the truck. Trucks take a lot of distance and time to stop and have a hard time seeing vehicles that are in their blind spots (to the side and rear of the large truck). If you are following a truck too closely, or if you are being followed by a truck too closely, the chance of an underride or override accident is increased.

Watch Out for Squeeze Play

When the driver of a large truck needs to make a right-hand turn, they have to swing their vehicle to the left first in order to give the vehicle enough room to safely make the turn. In moving to the left, a space is created in the right-hand turn lane between the truck and the curb. In some cases, the driver of a passenger car may misinterpret what the truck driver is doing, thinking that because they have moved their vehicle to the left, they have no intention of turning. As such, the driver of the passenger car may try to pass the truck on the right, utilizing the space between the truck and the curb.

When the truck starts to make its right-hand turn, though, this can be deadly; the smaller vehicle – which the truck driver cannot see – may get “squeezed” between the curb and truck as it makes its turn.

The best way to avoid this accident type is to always pass large trucks on the left rather than right and to maintain the safe following distance mentioned above.

Put Away Distractions

Driving distraction-free is good practice in general but is especially important when driving around large trucks or at high speeds. Even a moment’s worth of distraction can be enough to cause a catastrophic accident leading to tragic injuries.

Contact the Dolman Law Group Today

If you are in a large truck accident, our experienced truck accident attorneys in Florida at the Dolman Law Group can help you. A consultation with our team is completely free, and we always prioritize our clients’ needs. Contact us today online or by phone to get started.

Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652
(727) 853-6275