Commercial trucks and tractor trailers take up a significant amount of space on the roads – and most motorists feel anxious driving around them. Most motor vehicle drivers can avoid collisions with semi-trucks simply by practicing safe driving habits.
Most importantly, drivers should always be on the defensive when passing or sharing the road with commercial trucks. A large majority of truck accidents in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as well as the country are the result of drivers failing to adjust their driving to accommodate larger commercial vehicles on the road – including ignoring the truck’s performance limitations, such as slower braking.
5 Ways to Avoid Truck Accidents
Drive defensively – never aggressively – around semi-trucks to protect yourself and passengers in your vehicle. Five ways you can do so include:
- Always remain visible to the truck driver. Blind spots for a semi-truck are much wider than for the average passenger vehicle. All commercial trucks have a “no zone” which is a designated area behind and beside the truck where the driver has limited to no visibility. If you choose to drive within this zone, the driver could accidentally cut off your vehicle or force you to rear-end them.
- Change lanes around semi-trucks with caution. Do not change lanes abruptly in front of a commercial truck. Instead, accelerate and gain enough space between you and the truck before pulling in front. Also, slow down and allow a semi-truck to merge into traffic. Never speed up and attempt to beat the truck.
- Pass a truck defensively. Give your vehicle sufficient headway before passing. Also, be cautious in adverse weather.
- Assess the truck’s speed. Always assess the speed of a truck before turning left or crossing in front of a truck. If you cannot adequately and safely assess their speed, wait for them to pass.
- Do not use abrupt maneuvers. Truck accidents are often the result of instances when a truck is forced to abruptly maneuver or apply their brakes. This can occur when you merge into traffic improperly, fail to get your vehicle off the road or cut off a truck.
Injured in a Truck Accident? Contact an Attorney
If you were injured in an accident with a semi-truck and you were driving defensively, you should consult an experienced truck accident attorney in Philadelphia. Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq. can explore your legal options and assess if your case is entitled to compensation. Schedule a free consultation at 215-987-3550 (office) or 215-771-0430 (cell) now or schedule your consult online.