Preventing a crash with a truck is the responsibility of both truck drivers and operators of other vehicles. Most of us get a little nervous when we are driving next to a truck going 65 miles per hour on the highway, and rightly so. Being on the wrong side of a truck crash could mean severe personal injuries, extreme damage to property and a potential untimely death.
It’s all about defensive driving. Many vehicle operators get stubborn with their driving habits and fail to adjust to the limited maneuverability, performance capabilities and braking of a truck. The result is often an accident, in which any non-truck is bound to come away badly damaged, not to mention the drivers.
Here are five tips drivers can implement to help keep themselves safe from truck accidents.
1. Don’t stop or slow down in front: Trucks need considerably more time to brake and maneuver than other cars do, and switching lanes at the last minute is generally not an option. Most truckers would rather rear-end you than potentially cause a more serious accident by attempting evasive maneuvers.
2. Never pass on the right: First of all, passing on the right is illegal in most states, second, it’s extremely dangerous. The last thing you want is to get lost in the large blind spot on the right side of a truck. If the trucker has to make a right turn or lane shift, you could find yourself in a very dangerous position.
3. Be aware of truck speed: Since your average tractor-trailer is anywhere from 12,100 to 80,000 pounds, it is considerably heavier than your average car. Due to this fact, trucks need significantly more time than cars to stop, especially when traveling at high speeds. If you’re at an intersection and can’t estimate the speed of an oncoming truck, just let it pass.
4. Bigger equals right of way: Drivers of cars just have to be smart. If a 50,000 pound truck hits a regular sized car, who wins? Whether you think you should or legally do have the right of way, the smartest thing you can do is let the truck go in front of you and pass it later, on the left side of course.
The personal injury attorneys at Team Law have many years of experience litigating car and truck crashes in New Jersey. If you’ve been injured in a car or truck accident, contact us today to discuss your case and set up a free consultation.