Large commercial trucks are not uncommon sights on our roads. Yet truck accidents happen all the time and change people’s lives forever. It’s not enough to drive as carefully as we would around other cars. Trucks are an entirely different dangerous deal.
At the Gilbert Law Firm, it’s not just about getting clients – we care about our Pacific Northwest community. As much as we enjoy getting justice for our clients, we also want to do our part in preventing truck accidents in the first place. Follow these safety tips and share them with the people in your life so we can all be safer on the road.
Driving alongside trucks means different rules
The rules we learn for driving alongside other cars are very different from the rules of a truck. Although we see trucks all the time, most of us might not always remember what makes trucks so dangerous.
Here are some tips for avoiding accidents with trucks:
- Watch for a truck’s turn signals: The most important thing to remember about trucks is that they have large blind spots. They may not be able to see you as they’re making a turn, so you should give them plenty of space for your own safety. If you’re ever in doubt about how much space a truck might need, falling back is better than inching forward.
- Don’t stay in a truck’s blind spot: Truck drivers have blind spots on all sides of their vehicle, also known as ‘no zones.’ Whatever decisions you or a truck driver are making on the road, don’t let yourself linger in a blind spot. A good rule of thumb is to check the truck driver’s mirrors and look for the driver’s face. If you can’t see their face, they can’t see you.
- If you’re behind a truck, leave space: When it comes to the basic rules of physics, trucks just need much more space for braking than cars. They are much bigger and heavier and can’t slow down or pick up the pace as quickly. Leaving plenty of space means you are much safer in case a truck driver needs to make a sudden stop. Also, your visibility is limited behind a truck, so if you are too close, you might not have enough reaction time once an accident or construction work becomes visible.
- Be careful when passing a truck or switching lanes: Once again, making sure there is lots of space between you and a truck is key. Don’t cut in front of a truck – ever. If you don’t have quite enough space to pass a truck, just stay in your lane. Once there is more than enough space, then you can pass quickly.
More precautions you can take to avoid truck accidents in Washington
Setting yourself up for success while driving around trucks is crucial when it comes to safety.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you’re driving throughout the Pacific Northwest:
- If you need to pull over, do it carefully: Look for a designated pullover spot and if there isn’t any, try to stay as far away from traffic as you can. Trucks can clip your car or worse if they swerve even slightly on a small shoulder.
- Be a predictable driver: Although it’s important to be a predictable driver in general, it’s even more necessary around trucks. Always use your turn signals and don’t make last-minute decisions. Try to give the truck driver loud and clear signs of what you’re trying to do on the road.
- Avoid distracted driving: Stay focused on the road. It’s very easy to become distracted, fatigued, or bored, so try to prepare your car environment before driving. Pick music that you like and will keep you alert so you don’t spend time trying to change stations. Try to save calls or adjustments for rest stops if you’re on a long road trip. Take breaks when you need them so you don’t become restless or sleepy.
- Never antagonize a truck driver: We all have places to go and no one really wants to take forever to get there. But our safety is more important than taking dangerous shortcuts here and there. If a truck driver is trying to switch lanes, don’t speed up to pass them. Let truck drivers make the moves they need to make; otherwise, you are putting yourself in danger. You might feel like you are in control, but trucks are too dangerous for risk-taking.
- Use extra precaution in bad weather: Driving in bad weather is dangerous for everyone on the road. Take everything we have shared with you and multiply the precautions when you’re driving in bad weather. Going slow is better than risking an accident. Maintaining an even larger distance from trucks is also the safer way to go. It’s also important to know when to stop driving until conditions improve.
Contact our knowledgeable attorneys at Gilbert Law
We care about earning your trust. At Gilbert Law, we take the time to get to know each and every one of our clients — who you are at your core, and what you need. Your concerns are real, and we are here to listen to them.
We know what it’s like to lose a loved one or to suffer serious injuries in a car accident. Whether you’re in Washington or Montana, Oregon or Wyoming, we care about your well-being. We are here, ready to fight, if you need us.
Disclaimer: The blog published by the Gilbert Law Firm marketing team for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice or a substitute for legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the blog publisher. Readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.