Although there are many regulations at the state and federal levels regulating truck drivers, truck companies, and the truck industry, car drivers still have an obligation to help prevent Florida car accidents involving trucks. Florida trucking accidents involving cars are often especially tragic for passenger vehicles and their occupants, simply because of the disadvantageous difference in size between a truck and a car. There are many things that Florida car drivers can do, however, in order to help prevent tragedy:
1) Stay alert. Avoid a Florida drunk driving accident as well as trucking accidents and other types of traffic accidents by driving sober. Even one drink can impair your judgment. In addition to drinking, carefully consider any medications – including over-the-counter medications – that you may be taking. These may also cause you to become drowsy and unfit to operate a vehicle.
2) Stay focused. Distracted driving is a major contribution factor to Florida truck accidents and traffic accidents of all types. Avoid using your cell phone, mobile device, or headphones while driving. Focus on the road rather than on conversations or on entertainment.
3) Never cut off a truck. Trucks cannot brake in the same manner as cars do. Even with emergency brakes, large tractor trailers and 18 wheeler trucks take far longer than cars to stop. If you cut off a truck, even a very experienced truck driver may not be able to stop in time, and you could find yourself in a tragic accident. If you need to pass a truck, wait until you can see the front of the truck through your rearview mirror before you change lanes. This gives you enough time to pass safely.
4) Be aware of truck blind spots. The only way you can be sure that a truck driver can see you is if you can see the truck driver and if you make eye contact with the driver. Trucks have very large blind spots along the rear of the truck and along the sides. This is especially true for larger 18 wheelers and tractor trailers. Avoid driving for long periods of time in a truck’s blind spots and be especially wary about driving between two large trucks.
5) In Florida cities, especially, be careful around trucks making wide right turns. In Florida cities with narrow streets, drivers of large commercial trucks often swing very wide to the left in order to make a right turn. While they are doing this, blind spots do not allow them to see passenger cars beside them or behind them. Pay attention when a truck signals to turn and make sure that you offer the truck plenty of room to complete the turn.