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Staying safe around commercial trucks

Many drivers justifiably feel nervous when they notice a commercial truck approaching. Understanding why big rigs present some unique dangers can help you avoid serious accidents.

The main dangers trucks present stem from their large size and mass. These factors can increase the likelihood of a crash and also cause a higher level of damage.

Avoiding the blind zones

The size of commercial trucks affects their drivers' field of vision and limits their ability to maneuver. You can address the problem of limited visibility by staying aware of the truck's extensive blind zones. Typical commercial vehicles have blind zones extending about 20 feet in front of them and 30 feet back. They also possess large diagonal strips of blind zone extending into the lanes to the right and left.

If you look at the truck's side mirror and do not see the driver, the driver likely does not see you either. Try to leave blind zones as soon as you can. If you need to enter one to pass, signal clearly before you do so as to let the driver know.

Keeping a safe distance

Driving too closely in front of a truck can lead to a rear-end collision, as the truck's mass creates a longer stopping distance for it. Tailgating a truck causes a risk of rear-ending it if the truck stops unexpectedly or another vehicle hits you from behind. This can lead to sliding underneath the truck, resulting in a high likelihood of serious injury.

Flatbed trucks also present the risk of improperly secured cargo falling out. Following too closely can raise the chances of getting hit by loose objects.

Many trucks require a lot of room to turn, with some needing to occupy two lanes. If you see a truck make a turn signal, stay back. Do not try to pass it or do anything to get in the way of the turn.

Getting qualified legal help

Even the most cautious drivers can get into accidents. If your accident involved a commercial vehicle, you may soon hear from insurance representatives trying to push through a quick settlement. Truck accidents can cause a variety of serious injuries, some of which may take time to show symptoms. For this reason, you should avoid speaking about your accident before consulting your attorney.

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