CHICAGO, IL – An auto accident involving a semi-truck and any vehicle can cause victims to suffer from serious injuries, and even fatal. For this reason, it’s important to know how to drive safely around a semi-truck or any large commercial vehicle, especially those that are carrying cargo.
The Dinizulu Law Group has come up with several strategies for you to use to help reduce your risk of becoming involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, including:
- Stay Focused
You should be focused at all times on the roadway while driving. This includes avoiding any distractions such as your cell phone, GPS devices, adjusting vehicle features, or any other distractions while operating a motor vehicle.
By remaining focused on the roadway, you’re more attentive to the cars surrounding you, such as a semi-truck. By engaging in distractions while driving, you put yourself and others at risk, and significantly reduce your ability to react to unexpected hazards such as a semi-truck losing control from a blown tire.
- Keep A Safe Following Distance
Maintain a safe driving distance between your vehicle and a semi-truck at all times. It takes much longer for a semi-truck to stop than what it takes for a passenger car. Large trucks need more space than a passenger vehicle to safety maneuver the roadway.
By maintaining a safe distance, it allows you to have more time to respond to dangerous situations. For example, trucks require a much longer distance to come to a complete stop. By following too closely, you may increase the cause of a serious accident. A proper following distance is at least a four-second space between your vehicle and a semi-truck.
- Pass the Truck Safely
When passing around a semi-truck, you should always do so in a cautious and safe manner. Do not recklessly or carelessly overtake the larger vehicle’s position on the roadway, or especially a highway.
Always make sure you can see the driver of the semi-truck in their mirror – if you can’t see them, they can’t see you. Use your turn signal to alert the driver and others on the roadway that you intend to change lanes.
When passing a truck, attempt to quickly pass them to minimize the amount of time you spend in the truck drivers blind spot. Make sure the semi-truck is visible in your rear-view mirror before pulling in front of it.
- Watch for Blind Spots
Semi-trucks and large commercial vehicles have blind spots that make it difficult for the driver to see vehicles that are approaching. To avoid spots where truck drivers may have trouble seeing you, watch out for the following areas:
- Up to 20 feet directly in front of the truck
- Up to 30 feet directly behind the vehicle
- In the left lane between the front and half of the trailer’s length
- In two right lanes of the vehicle, between the front and half of the semi-trucks length
- Anticipate Wide Turns
Avoid driving near a semi-truck while it is making a wide turn. Many semi-trucks have a wide-turning radius which reduces the amount of time you have to stop if the truck is taking up a majority of the roadway.
If you’re driving near a semi-truck attempting to turn, do not try to pass on the same side that the truck is turning. Please allow plenty of space between your vehicle and a truck while the truck is making a turn and avoid being in its path.
Contact an Attorney After an Accident
By taking these precautions while driving around semi-trucks, you may be able to significantly reduce your risk of becoming involved in a truck accident. If you are injured in a collision caused by a semi-truck, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer to discuss filing a personal injury claim.
Dinizulu Law Group’s trusted personal injury lawyers in Chicago have helped many accident victims obtain justice and the compensation they deserve after suffering an injury, and even fatalities, due to another’s negligence. They will carefully review the circumstances of your accident and help determine if you may be owed compensation from the truck company or truck driver.
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only have to pay us if we recover compensation for your claim. Please call our office at (312) 382-1920 for a free, no obligation consultation to find out if you have a case.