Semi-trucks are ubiquitous on Georgia’s busy roadways. Driving alongside a large truck, however, is bound to cause anxiety in drivers of smaller vehicles. Their sheer size, massive weight, slower rate of speed reduction, and the challenges drivers face in maneuvering them, all point to truck accidents being more likely to lead to severe injuries. While many truckers are responsible and seasoned drivers, other drivers should still be mindful of trucks and drive with caution.
One of the most important things to know when driving near a large truck, or even a bus or other oversized vehicle, is to stay out of their blind spots. Although we all have them in our cars, large trucks have greater blind spots that increase the chances of an accident.
Three steps for staying clear of a large truck’s blind spots
The most important takeaway is that if you cannot see a truck’s side mirrors then they cannot see you. Everywhere else is a blind spot—they do not have the luxury of rear-view mirrors and back windows to improve their visibility. You know you are in the danger zone if you cannot see your reflection in their mirror.
Ultimately, it is the truck driver’s responsibility to drive safely, and to ensure that accidents do not happen. Because you cannot control other drivers’ behavior, however, there are three things you can do to keep yourself safe around large vehicles:
Avoid the “no zones.” A truck’s blind spots are known as “no zones.” You want to do your best to stay out of these spaces. There are four:
- Directly behind the truck in the truck’s lane
- To the right where you cannot see the truck’s mirror
- To the left where you cannot see the truck’s mirror
- Directly in front of the truck in the truck’s lane
Pass carefully. If you need to pass a commercial vehicle, do so with caution. Remember to always pass on the left, and to try not to idle alongside of the truck once you have switched lanes. Once you get in front of their vehicle, do not slow down right away. Give yourself plenty of distance. Then, you will be out of their “no zones.”
Do not tailgate. Give about four seconds of space between you and the truck. That equals approximately 20-25 car lengths of distance. You do not want to risk being rear-ended by one. Plus, if you are tailgating, you are most certainly in a “no zone.”
Remember to always be patient when sharing the road with larger vehicles. Additionally, do not get too close to a truck when it is turning. Some trucks need such a wide berth, they require an additional lane to make a turn. Give yourself even more time and distance when driving in poor weather conditions.
Even the most cautious drivers are at risk of being struck by a commercial vehicle. The Georgia trucking accident attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP have decades of experience helping injury victims obtain full and fair compensation. To arrange a no-obligation consultation, give our firm a call at 404-998-8847 at our Atlanta office, or in Savannah at 912-417-3774, or complete our contact form.
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