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Avoiding Truck Accidents on the Highways

Highways are where many drivers share the road quite frequently with trucks. Unfortunately, the sheer mass of a truck combined with the speed of highway travel can make any truck/car accident devastating to the passengers of a passenger car. These passengers are almost certain to sustain serious personal injury. Luckily, there are many things drivers can do to prevent trucking accidents:

1) Stay out of truck blind spots. The blind spots on a tractor trailer can be large. Any time you cannot see the driver’s face in his mirror, you are likely in the truck’s blind spot. Lingering there can be fatal. Avoid driving alongside a truck. Pass rapidly or drop back. Since trucks are long, it can take some time to pass them. Keep this in mind if you are attempting to pass a truck. The blind spot on a truck’s left side is much smaller, so where possible pass on the left.

2) Slow down if a tractor trailer is too close behind you. Many drivers are tempted to speed up if a truck is tailgating them but this can be the wrong thing to do. By law, a tractor trailer should leave 400 feet between your vehicles, but if a truck follows too close, what you most need is extra room. By slowing down, you increase the space between you and the vehicle in front of you. If a car stops suddenly in front of you due to a tire defect, rollover, or other problem, you have room to maneuver out of the truck’s way. If you don’t leave yourself room, there is no where to go and the truck will roll right into you if you have to stop suddenly.

3) Drive well back of tractor trailers. You should be able to see the side view mirrors of the truck in front of you. Keep in mind that there is a good blind spot behind trucks, so giving yourself extra room ensures the driver can see you.

4) Report bad driving. If you see a truck following too closely, speeding, or driving poorly, write down the registration and license plate numbers of the truck. Write a letter to the company who owns the truck and follow up. If a truck driver is being very aggressive or reckless – weaving or entering oncoming lanes, contact local authorities.

5) Be vigilant on entrance ramps. If you are just entering a roadway, check for trucks. Trucks take some time to slow down, so make sure you have plenty of space to zip out in front of a truck or wait until it passes before entering the roadway.

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