Tips on Sharing the Road with Trucks in West Virginia
Accidents involving trucks can be some of the most devastating events on the road. With the massive size and weight difference between a passenger vehicle and a loaded truck, any collision between them has a strong chance of doing a large amount of damage.
Thankfully, the number of total fatalities involving freight transport has decreased by 23.8 percent between 2000 and 2015, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. To continue that trend, it is important for drivers of passenger vehicles to know how to stay safe around trucks.
Driving Safely Around Trucks
Simplemost recently ran an article briefly looking at five ways passenger vehicles can stay safe when sharing the road with trucks.
- Be Aware of Blind Spots: Every commercial truck has areas around it that the driver can’t see. Directly ahead of and behind the truck, as well as selected regions to either side, are known as blind spots. These are determined by the height of the truck, placement of mirrors and windows, and other design factors. Try to keep your vehicle out of these places as much as possible.
- Pass With Care: When passing a truck, it is important to ensure the driver has the chance to see your intentions. Ensure that you can see the driver in their mirror when you signal to change lanes, and then pass the truck quickly rather than spending longer than needed in their blind spots.
- Keep Your Distance: When a driver cannot see you in their blind spot, they may not take your vehicle into consideration on their own actions. This is especially notable when trucks turn right, as they need a large amount of space to do so safely. However, this is not the only danger in staying too close beside or behind trucks. Mechanical concerns pose additional dangers to vehicles and their passengers, such as debris from the truck or a blown tire. Staying too close behind a truck also puts you at risk for a rear-end underride accident.
- Stay Far Ahead: The momentum from the extra weight means that a loaded truck takes far longer to come to a complete stop than a passenger car traveling at the same speed. Never cut a truck off, and do not ride close enough ahead of them that they will not have time to stop if you need to.
- Pay Attention: As with all other driving conditions, one of the most important things you can do around a truck is to be fully aware of your surroundings. Distractions cost lives on the road, and allowing them to draw your attention away from vehicles much larger than yours can greatly increase the risks.
We all have a responsibility to stay safe on the road. Anything that you can do to ensure that you create fewer risks for yourself and others is a step in the right direction. Sometimes, however, accidents still happen because someone else failed to take precautions. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a truck accident, contact Mani Ellis & Layne today so we can fight for you.