Sweeney Julian
Sweeney Julian

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Your Premier Indiana Personal Injury Trial Attorneys

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3 top tips for sharing the road safely with semi-trucks

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2024 | Personal Injury |

Most people remember from their time in driver’s training that they need to be extra cautious around semi-trucks. These larger, heavier vehicles can cause absolutely devastating collisions if they crash into smaller vehicles.

A large portion of those crashes occur because of something the commercial driver does. The occupants of other vehicles have no control over what a semi-truck driver does in traffic. However, they can make small adjustments to their own driving habits that could potentially reduce their risk of a life-altering collision with an 18-wheeler. The following are some of the most useful safety tips for those sharing the road with semi-trucks.

Be aware of the blind spots around trucks

Many semi-trucks have extra mirrors on the cab. These years help commercial drivers more effectively check their blind spots for other vehicles. However, drivers generally want to avoid those blind spots to the best of their ability, there’s never any guarantee that the driver of the semi-truck consistently checks those locations before turning or merging.

Staying out of the lanes directly to the right and left of the trailer attached to a semi-truck and leaving plenty of space when following the truck can potentially prevent a collision. Additionally, attempting to pass a semi-truck on a two-lane road could be a dangerous choice, as the driver behind the truck is in a blind spot where they cannot see oncoming traffic.

Leave extra space at intersections

Semi-trucks generally make wide turns because of their design. The very elements that make them efficient for loading and unloading make them difficult to manage at tight intersections. Drivers should observe road markers painted on the street to indicate where they should stop, as those can help a truck driver approach appropriately. Leaving space between vehicles stopped at an intersection could also help if drivers must back up to create space for a semi-truck.

Be careful when merging on busy roads

Sometimes, drivers have no choice but to move past a semi-truck in traffic. They might then merge back into the same lane that the semi-truck occupies. Doing so can be dangerous, as the semi-truck could rear-end the passenger vehicle. Drivers typically need to leave more space between the rear of their vehicle and the front of a semi-truck when merging back into a lane after passing. They also want to ensure that they merge back into the lane while maintaining a speed that is the same or faster than the speed of the semi-truck.

Drivers who consistently follow these three safety tips can minimize their chance of causing or otherwise being involved in a crash. Of course, factors outside of people’s control could still lead to collisions. Requesting financial compensation via insurance or a lawsuit could be a reasonable response to a collision caused by a semi-truck or another party’s negligence.