When you get behind the wheel of your vehicle, the last thing you want to worry about is getting into an accident with a large commercial truck. While you cannot control the actions of other drivers around you, there are steps you can take to operate safely around large trucks. At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., our Philadelphia truck accident attorneys want to discuss some defensive driving tips for safe operation around trucks.
During the latest reporting year in Pennsylvania, the Department of Transportation says that there were 7,336 total large truck crashes across the Commonwealth. That number has been steadily rising over the last few years, particularly as the economy has increased and the use of these trucks has risen. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), these vehicles can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when fully loaded.
The FMCSA has the following recommendations for all drivers when operating around large trucks:
Large commercial trucks have blind spots on all four sides of the vehicle. It is important to remember that if you cannot see the driver in their side mirror, assume that the driver cannot see you. Do not drive in their blind spots, as this could lead to serious accidents.
Before moving to pass a truck, be sure you can see the driver in their mirror. Use your turn signal and move into the clear lane and accelerate so that you can get past the truck safely. Do not linger in the vehicle’s blind spot when passing. Do not pass a truck on a downgrade where they tend to pick up speed.
It is important not to “cut off” a large truck after passing them. If you move in front of a truck too quickly, you will likely be in their blind spot and the truck driver may not be able to slow down before rear-ending you.
Tailgating a truck means you are in their blind spot. If the truck must make a quick stop, your vehicle could slide under the rear of their vehicle. This can lead to serious accidents that often cause injuries or fatalities.
Large trucks need extra room when turning, and they often swing wide or make a turn starting from the middle Lane. Do not try to squeeze between a truck that is turning and the curb.
Large trucks need extra time to accelerate and often have technology that limits their speed. If you honk at them or drive aggressively, this is not going to change their driving behavior, and it can cause distractions on the roadway.
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident with a large truck, you may be entitled to compensation. At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., we are going to investigate your case in order to determine whether the truck driver or truck company is liable for the incident. We want to ensure that you receive any compensation you are entitled to, which can include: