5 Things To Be Aware Of Around Big Trucks On The Highway
Tractor-trailer accidents are often severe and far too common in Michigan. Many truck accidents happen because of the driver’s or employer’s negligence, and if that happens, you could receive compensation in a lawsuit. However, it is possible to avoid certain truck accidents by increasing your awareness near these large highway vehicles. Learn about safe driving around trucks below, then speak to our Detroit truck accident lawyers at Ravid & Associates if you think have a case.
Commercial Vehicles Have Significant Operating Limitations
Be aware when you drive near tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles that they have significant operating limitations that can make them more dangerous than other vehicles. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), commercial trucks have larger blind spots, longer stopping distances, and less maneuverability than smaller vehicles. So, you must focus more on safety when around these massive vehicles.
Truck Blind Spots
Large trucks have much bigger blind spots than passenger vehicles. Blind spots are significant on the sides, front, and behind the truck. Remember when driving near a truck that the driver cannot see you if you cannot see him in his side mirrors. If you are in the truck’s blind spot, he may not see you and try to move into your lane, which could cause a terrifying accident.
If the driver moves into your lane because he did not see you, he could be at fault for the accident, depending on the circumstances. But you can do your part by reducing the chances of these accidents by staying out of truckers’ blind spots as much as possible.
Trucks Take Much Longer To Stop
A significant cause of truck accidents is when a passenger vehicle moves into the truck’s lane too soon, cutting the driver off. The truck takes much longer to slow down than a car, so if you cut in front of the truck too soon, the huge rig could slam into you. The truck may weigh up to 80,000 pounds, and that mass takes several seconds longer to slow down than a 4,000-pound car. Also, trucks have air brakes that take longer to activate than passenger vehicle hydraulic brakes.
You can avoid major accidents in this situation by giving the truck plenty of room before moving over. Wait until you see the entire truck cab in your rearview mirror, then signal and move into the truck’s lane.
You also should avoid passing a truck on a downgrade when they usually increase speed and never pass on the right lane. Truckers are taught to look for passing traffic in the left lane.
If a truck is passing you, keep to the right lane and slow down a bit so they can get around. Helping the driver pass can keep you and your family safe, so it is worth slowing down.
Tailgating Is Dangerous
Tailgating a tractor-trailer is always dangerous because the driver cannot see you. Also, trucks are higher off the road, and if you cannot stop in time, you could slam into the end of the trailer and be seriously injured or killed. Being too close to the back of the trailer is dangerous when stopped; the truck could roll backward if traffic stops on an upgrade.
Trucks Take Wider Turns
A commercial truck must swing wide to make turns. Sometimes, the truck may even need to start the turn from the middle lane. If you see a truck with its turn signal on, do not try to squeeze by or get between the truck and the curb.
If you stop at an intersection, do not ‘block the box’ or go past the stop line. If a truck comes along and needs to turn, your vehicle could be in its way.
Patience Is Required Around Trucks
Always remember that trucks are much larger and heavier and have operating restrictions. The truck could be equipped with a speed limiter, too, so aggressive driving, honking, or cutting off the truck does not help the situation. Dangerous driving behaviors around trucks only lead to more severe accidents. It is always better to arrive at your destination safely a few minutes later than to get into a deadly truck accident.
What If You Are In A Truck Accident?
Even driving carefully around trucks cannot prevent every accident. If the worst happens and a large truck hits you, there are several things to do to protect your health and potential legal options later:
Get Immediate Medical Attention
Your health is the most critical matter after a truck crash. When a huge rig slams into your passenger vehicle, serious injuries are likely. You should always call 911 and get to the emergency room to be looked over. You could have a severe head or internal injury and not know about it initially.
Report The Truck Accident
You must report auto accidents in Michigan with injuries, deaths, or property damage over $1,000. A truck accident will probably have at least one, so always call the police to report the crash.
Document The Accident Scene
The trucking company will send accident investigators immediately to aid their case. You can help yours, if you are physically able, by taking photos and videos of the crash scene. Also, get images of your injuries, vehicle damages, vehicle positions, and the surrounding area. These videos and photos could be vital to filing a personal injury lawsuit later.
Speak To A Truck Accident Attorney
You should never attempt to handle a truck accident injury case alone. Trucking companies employ aggressive attorneys and insurance companies, and you need a tough, proven litigator to protect your rights and interests.
Contact Our Detroit Truck Accident Lawyers Now
Every year, far too many people in Michigan are injured by negligent truck drivers. If you prove that the trucker or employer was responsible for the accident, you could receive compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Our Detroit truck accident lawyers at Ravid & Associates are dedicated to securing damages for our injured clients. Call (248) 948-9696 to discuss potential legal options with one of our truck accident attorneys.