If you’re like me, take heed and follow the safety precautions outlined below. Otherwise, you might find yourself needing a St. Louis truck accident lawyer.
This should go without saying. Every person traveling on the road should be wearing a safety belt from the moment they sit down in a car all the way to the moment they get back out. In almost every state, it’s the law.
Of course, we all know someone who doesn’t pay that any mind and ignores their safety belt unless the road is slippery or weather conditions are bad. If that person is you, add “when driving near a truck” to the list of times when a safety belt is invaluable. Commercial trucks and tractor trailers can do a lot of damage; a safety belt might just keep a traumatic accident from becoming a lethal one.
Keep Your Distance
Perhaps the most important piece of advice to keep in mind when sharing the road with a large truck is to give that truck as much space as possible. Every vehicle has blind spots, but trucks have them the worst. These “No Zones” include the area directly behind the truck in the same lane, the area in the first lane to the left near where the cabin is connected to the trailer, and an area spanning two lanes on the right directly beside the cabin as well as the mid-to-upper part of the trailer.
Another thing to watch out for is a truck’s turns, which by necessity are much wider than those of other vehicles. If you find yourself coming to an intersection with a turning truck, avoid boxing it in.
Know When to Pass
Passing a big commercial truck can be scary. It can also be a little tricky. Once again, it’s important to give the truck plenty of leeway. Be mindful of areas where the driver may not be able to see you; a good rule of thumb is to take note of the truck’s side-view mirror. If you can’t see the driver, the driver can’t see you.
When passing, try not to linger alongside the truck for a long time, and when merging back into the same lane, make sure to leave plenty of room between the two vehicles. It’s especially important to be careful if going downhill, as trucks oftenpick up speed due to their weight.
Trucks can be slow, especially when going up hills. If you have somewhere to be, this can really test your patience. It’s important to maintain control of your emotions, however. Don’t honk your horn or start driving aggressively in an attempt to get them to “speed up.” In most cases, they couldn’t even if they wanted to. The size and weight of commercial trucks makes it difficult for them to go fast.
If you’re stuck behind a slow-moving truck and find road rage starting to take hold, consider pulling off to the side of the road to give yourself a minute to collect yourself. It’s also a good way of putting some distance between you and the truck, making it easier to avoid further aggravation.