We’ve all felt uncomfortable when driving on the road and a big tractor trailer is in your path.  Or, even worse, when a big truck is following closely behind you on the road. It can be scary, so let’s share some tips for sharing the road with semi-trucks. Do what’s within your control to make conditions as safe as possible.

Passing Trucks

Trucks have much larger blind spots than cars. When you need to pass a truck, always pass on the left. If you decide to pass on the right, you will be driving in the trucks blind spot. This is not a good idea since it’s likely they won’t be able to see you.Make sure you can see the cab of the truck in your mirror before you pull in front of it. Ironically, some truck accidents happen when a truck driver is trying to avoid an accident.

When a Truck Passes You

When a truck is maneuvering to pass you, it is better to slow down a little and let them get around you. You may not be thrilled to have a truck pull in front of you, but don’t get caught up in a power struggle that won’t end well.

Headlights

Don’t use your high beams when you’re driving around or near a truck. You may cause a situation where your headlights blind the truck driver momentarily.

Wide Turning Trucks

Be aware that if a truck is turning right, they need to swing wide to complete a tight turn. If you try to pass a truck on the right, you might get smashed in the process. You’ll be in their turning zone, and they won’t be able to see you.  Remember, always pass a truck on the left.

Your Responsibility

You are always responsible for your own safe driving, and looking out for other drivers. This becomes even more important when you’re sharing the road with the big rigs. It goes without saying that you should be cautious, and be sure not to drive while you’re distracted. This is causing more and more accidents these days, as we just can’t seem to put our devices down and focus on driving. Make it a point to do so.

Be sure to anticipate and obey all traffic signs and signals. Remember to reduce your speed when you’re driving in bad weather, and when you’re going through construction zones. Safety first!

Keep your speed within reasonable limits, and don’t follow the car in front of you too closely. Remember to leave stopping distance between you and other drivers. Merge safely and following turning lanes. Don’t change lanes or turn abruptly in front of trucks.  They may not have the time or space to maneuver to avoid an accident.

So, control the things you have the power to control. Stay alert and watch out for the things that you can’t control. Be a safe and courteous driver as you share the road with truck drivers. It’s the safest thing to do!

For more information, speak to one of our truck accident lawyers today.

By: Stephen Phillips

Stephen D. Phillips is the managing partner at the Phillips Law Offices in Chicago. He earned his Juris Doctor from Loyola University in 1985 and his B.A. from the University of Iowa in 1981. He is an extensively published writer and sought-after lecturer on legal topics ranging from medical malpractice to tort reform. Mr. Phillips is also the recipient of a number of awards and honors from various legal and community groups.