Being involved in an accident with a truck or other large commercial vehicle can have a devastating impact on your life. Although any motor vehicle accident can theoretically result in injury, an accident with a vehicle that is particularly large and heavy is very likely to seriously hurt anyone involved.
As a motorist, you need to exercise caution when driving near large trucks. This doesn’t merely involve obeying the rules of the road. To avoid being harmed in a truck accident, you should also:
Look for Signs of Drowsy or Distracted Driving
Operating a large commercial vehicle requires paying strict attention to the road and one’s actions. Truck accidents can occur when operators are distracted or too tired to drive safely.
Unfortunately, according to reports from truckers, it is not uncommon for them to ignore safety regulations and laws, driving for longer hours than they should. Their employers pressure them to adhere to strict delivery schedules, and as such, they may not get as much rest as they need.
Signs that a trucker may be driving while drowsy, distracted, or intoxicated include:
- Failure to maintain a lane
- Suddenly braking or accelerating for no clear reason
- Driving through red lights and Stop or Yield signs
If you notice any of these warning signs, safely increase the distance between yourself and the truck. You may even want to alert the police to let them know there appears to be a dangerous truck on the road. Just be sure you’re not putting yourself in danger by calling the cops while you’re driving.
Allow More Space
When you’re driving behind a truck, your ability to see road and traffic conditions ahead is limited. Thus, you should maintain more distance between yourself and the rear of the truck than you would if you were driving behind a car or other smaller vehicle.
Additionally, when passing a truck, remember that trucks take more time to stop than smaller vehicles. After passing a truck, don’t reenter the lane where the truck is until there is sufficient space between the truck and your vehicle.
Pass on the Driver’s Side
Unless you have no other choice, when passing a truck, pass on the driver’s side. You must also know when you’re in a truck’s blind spots while passing. If you look at a truck’s side view mirrors while passing and you cannot see a trucker’s face in them, that means a trucker can’t see you. Speed up safely to get out of a blind spot as quickly as possible.
Let the Truck Pass You
There may be instances when a trucker starts to speed up to pass you. Don’t use this as an opportunity to “play chicken.” If a trucker wants to pass you or get in front of you, let them do so.
All that said, even if you apply these tips, it is still possible to be harmed in a truck accident resulting from another party’s negligence. If this has happened to you, a Spokane truck accident attorney at Russell & Hill, PLLC may be able to help you recover financial compensation for your medical bills and other such losses. Learn more by contact us at 800-529-0842.