Highway driving in Hollywood and South Florida can be more dangerous than meandering drives along rural or residential streets. On highways, the speeds are faster and there is more traffic. Exits and ramps may pop up suddenly, meaning you may find yourself suddenly needing to cut across traffic.
One of the big dangers with highways and freeways, of course, is that they mean you share the road with other vehicles, including tankers, big rigs, and tractor trailers delivering cargo from city to city and even to other states. Driving between two large trucks isn’t just intimidating; it is riskier. Large commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds fully loaded and the multiple blind spots mean drivers might not see and could crush your smaller passenger vehicle.
More than 70% of the some 250,000 accidents that happen each year involving commercial trucks and passenger cars are caused by driver error. Most passenger car drivers are simply not given extensive instruction about sharing the road with big rigs, tankers, and other commercial trucks. You cannot treat these vehicles like other cars on the road; they handle very differently. To safely share the road, follow these tips:
1) Remember that passing is riskier.
It takes more time to pass a truck and during part of the time you’ll be in the truck’s blind spot. If a truck is passing you, slow down slightly and give the truck room to pass.
To pass a large truck safely, first remember that you will need more time and make sure you have the space to pass. Pass on the left and try to make eye contact with the driver in the cab when you can see them in your mirror. Maintain a steady speed and give yourself plenty of room before you merge back into the truck’s lane – trucks cannot stop as quickly and may rear-end you if you cut them off.
2) Watch out for squeeze play accidents.
When a truck is signaling a right-hand turn, pay attention. Make sure the truck driver can see you and stay well back. Large trucks will sometimes need to swing left before making a right turn and if you try to pass the truck or slide up alongside the truck you may get caught between the curb and the vehicle. The truck driver may not be able to see you and your vehicle may be crushed.
3) Listen and watch for trucks backing up.
There’s a reason commercial trucks have an alarm when backing up. That noise is meant to alert you to danger. Truck drivers have lots of blind spots behind them and alongside the truck so when they back up, they might not see you. If you’re behind a truck that’s getting ready to back up, get out of the way. Never try to pass a truck that’s backing up – it can cause a collision.
If you’re injured in a truck accident and feel you may have a claim against the trucking company, driver, or other parties involved, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free, thorough analysis of your situation. The attorneys at Flaxman Law Group have more than 60 years of combined experience and would be pleased to discuss your situation with you.