Trucks are dangerous. That’s why the trucking industry is heavily regulated by the U.S. government and every state. More than 4,100 Americans were killed in truck accidents in 2018 alone. Tens of thousands suffered severe, life-altering injuries in tractor-trailer collisions.
Collisions involving trucks require attorneys with substantial knowledge of a myriad of regulations covering independent drivers, owner-operators, brokers, trucking companies, tractors and trailers, all of whom are devoted to avoiding being held accountable. Plus a lawyer for a truck crash must have know the details of trucking company insurance, as well as special policies for tractors and trailers, both of which are commercial vehicles under the law.
While truckers and trucking companies must operate in safely, corners are cut and crashes are inevitable. As a driver in California, there are strategies that you can use to reduce your risk of being taken out in a truck crash. Here are four tips to help you drive safely around 80,000 pounds of truck driven by a tired driver, who needs a break.
1. Stay Out of the Truck’s Blind Spots
The larger a vehicle, the larger its blind spots. California drivers should take extreme care to stay out of a semi’s blind spots. If you cannot see the driver’s face in a side mirror, the trucker cannot see you. Truckers are legally responsible to double check their blind spots. They need to know exactly where other vehicles are before changing lanes. Nonetheless, you cannot rely on truck drivers to get it right. That’s why you have to think for them.
2. Do Not Tailgate on Two Lane Roads
On crowded roads easy to get into the habit of tailgating other drivers. Tailgating a tractor and trailer large commercial truck sets you up for a crash, especially when initiating a pass on a two-land road. The best plan is to check your rearview mirror, cross the center line and still have enough room to pull back into your lane if traffic precludes a pass.
3. Watch for Trucks Making Right Turns
A large truck making a right-hand turn is a safety hazard. Trucks have to swing out to the left before they can turn right and swing a trailer through the turn. The turning radius of a truck can throw off car drivers. Be careful when you approach a truck that has its turn signals on. The best practice is to give the truck all of the space it needs to make a safe turn. You do not want to get crunched by a turning truck. A low-speed commercial truck crash can cause devastating injuries.
4. Take Extra Precautions When Passing Trucks
Finally, drivers on a multi-lane highway should make a smooth pass that allows you to spend as little time as possible in the truck’s blind spots. You do not want to be riding side-by-side next to a large commercial truck for any period of time with the risk the truck driver might not know you are there. Finally, make sure you well downstream of a truck before you pull in.
Contact Our San Jose, CA Truck Accident Attorneys for Immediate Help
Alexander Law Group, LLP attorneys are available to answer questions and share our knowledge of the law and the results of our research and experience. Our goal as personal injury lawyers is to make a difference for our clients. Every day we deal with a range of health and safety issues that most people do not encounter until after an injury occurs. As safety lawyers we are committed to providing our clients and the public with information for safer and healthier living. Call 888-777-1776 or contact us online to schedule a consultation to see how we can help you.