All trucks have a clearance height and commercial truck drivers are carefully trained to ensure they know how to respect these limits. Unfortunately, if you rent a truck for moving day or to complete some renovations on your home, you may not have this training. This could put you at risk.
Each year, around the country people are injured and trucks sustain serious damage because drivers attempt to driver under train bridges, pedestrian overhead walkways, underpasses, and other obstacles that don’t offer enough clearance. When a too-high truck tries to squeeze under an underpass or an overhang that’s too low, the top of the truck can literally be sheared off or seriously damaged. In some cases, vehicles get stuck.
There are a few ways you can reduce the possibility you will encounter this problem:
1) Know your risk.
Know the clearance of your vehicle, especially if you’re driving a rental truck, bus, camper or other larger vehicle. If you have attached anything to the roof, keep your new clearance in mind.
2) Plan your trip carefully.
When planning how to get home with your rental truck or camper or when making any trip, map it out. Check maps for underpasses and bridges. Find out ahead of time what the clearance is and determine whether you can make the trip. Plan an alternate route, just in case.
3) Talk to the rental agency when you rent a truck.
Discuss clearance and local bridges or areas where the truck won’t fit. Make sure you have insurance so if the truck is damaged in any way the damage is covered.
4) Obey the signs.
Most municipalities go out of their way to warn drivers about underpasses and bridges. There are usually signs well in advance of the underpass, warning drivers about the clearance. Some bridges even have flashing lights or sensor systems triggered by vehicles above a certain height. If you’re driving a rental truck, look out for these signs.
5) Stay as focused as possible when riding a larger vehicle.
Renting a truck and driving the unfamiliar vehicle around requires all your focus. Put away mobile devices before starting to drive and plot your route ahead of time. If possible, have someone else in the car handle tasks such as reading signs and looking for exits. This person can also consult a map if needed and help check your blind spots, leaving you free to focus on driving.
If you have been in a truck accident in Hollywood, Miami, or anywhere in South Florida, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation. Our offices in Miami, Homestead, and Hollywood are open to those who have been injured and we’d be pleased to set up a free case analysis for you. Our attorneys have more than 60 years of combined experience and we have recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of clients.