Truck accidents are often the worst kind of road traffic accidents. The sheer weight and length of these monstrous vehicles adds to the danger all truck drivers face. But regular drivers are able to make life easier for them, if we can learn how to safely drive near trucks in a way that helps prevent accidents.
Prevention is always better than a cure but sometimes, in spite of our best efforts, that’s not the way the world works. A serious truck accident needs a serious truck accident attorney Atlanta GA. If you have been struggling with getting the justice you deserve after a road traffic accident involving a truck, then help is a phone call away. Until then, here are our top tips for safely driving near trucks to prevent an accident from happening.
The 5 Top Tips for Safe Driving Near Trucks
Prevent truck accidents as best you can, by doing these 5 simple things:
1 – Fall Back
First and foremost, when driving behind a truck you should fall back. As a good general guide, if you can’t see the truck’s wing mirrors, the trucker inside can’t see you. We give a normal car in front two car lengths distance, give a truck four or five… as long as it takes until you see those mirrors. If someone squeezes into that space– that’s their problem, you have done your bit to keep a trucker safe on our roads this season.
2 – Abnormal Loads and Lengths Need Abnormal Space
This one is simple to remember. If you see a long vehicle, an oddly shaped vehicle, an abnormal load, or even one of the massive dump trucks that takes up three lanes all by itself – give them room. A trucker requires double the width of an overtake, just in case the wind catches them, and they swing out. Long vehicles are often tall vehicles as well and subject to gusts in a way that your car is not. This can lead to jackknifing. What is jackknifing a truck, you ask? In simple terms, it is used to refer to situations where big trucks push the front towing vehicles to one side.
3 – Hang Back on Corners
A trucker will often indicate left then swing out to the right in order to have enough room to turn. This is confusing for new drivers, who can’t fathom why they are indicating one way and seem to be turning another. To help out everyone involved, hang back at the corners, and give the truck plenty of room to turn in either direction if it wants to.
4 – Consider your Speed
If you are driving a truck, you shouldn’t be going any faster than 60-62 mph. If you are sitting behind a truck, give them plenty of space and don’t expect them to go any faster than this. That means that if you see two trucks overtaking each other on a two lane road, you can expect them to take a while to pass each other. If it is safe to do so, the trucker in the slow lane will likely lower their speed to let them pass. Be ready for that dip in speed.
5 – Pass Fast
If you have to overtake, which is pretty normal on the freeway, then you are going to have to do it as quickly as you can. While you are in the lane beside them, you are in the trucker’s blind spot. Since their vehicle is much larger than a car, you are invisible for longer. The faster you pass through this zone, the safer you will be. The trucker might swing out on you if you hover there. Don’t take it personally, they just can’t see you. Stay safe, be seen, and remember where your horn is.