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Tips for Driving Safely around Large Commercial Trucks

There is never a shortage of tractor trailers or commercial trucks on Georgia roads.  This seems especially true during rush hour in metro Atlanta.  Trying to manuever around a large commercial truck or 18-wheeler can be challenging, to say the least. One of the main reasons why driving around a large truck is tricky is due to the fact that the truck driver may not always see your car, which makes the chances of a being in an accident that much greater.   More often than not, when a passenger vehicle is hit in an accident by a large commercial truck, the resulting injuries can be very severe.

Here are some tips on what you should always keep in mind when driving around a large commercial truck or tractor trailer.

Do not come to a sudden stop in front of the truck.  These trucks have a much larger stopping distance. This means that it takes them much longer to come to a complete stop after the driver applies the brakes. If you are driving in front of a tractor trailer, braking suddenly can mean that the truck may crash right into your car with devastating consequences.

Stay out of a truck driver’s blind spots.  Commercial trucks have several blind spots. These are typically right in front of the truck, at the sides of the truck and right behind the truck. If you are driving in these spots, know that the driver may be unable to see you. If he can’t see your car, he can’t avoid your vehicle to prevent an accident. If you are driving in a blind spot area, try to get out as quickly as possible, and remain in the driver’s field of vision.  Don’t hang around around the sides of the truck. Be especially careful while merging lanes.  If you can’t see the truck driver in his side view mirror, assume that he is unable to see you too.  It is these and other special issues that make sharing the highway with one of these large vehicles all the more challenging.

Never tailgate a large commercial truck. Maintain a safe distance between your car and the truck in front of you. Rear ending a truck could mean that your car will end up under the back of the truck given the truck’s high position relative to the ground.

Pass the truck safely. Wait until you see the driver in the mirror, and signal your intention to merge into the left lane. Once you have merged, pass quickly and avoid loitering in the driver’s blind spot. Stay to the right of the truck and give it time to slow down. Remember, trucks need extra space to change lanes.

When you know that a truck is making a turn, stay back and let the driver finish the turn. Don’t try to cut the truck off or squeeze through. Remember, the driver is  unlikely to see your car at this point, meaning that he can’t avoid hitting your car if you are in the truck’s path.

Always wear a seat belt while driving, stay focused and don’t try the trucker’s patience by honking and or engaging in other distracting behaviors.

If you have been injured in a truck accident, the Atlanta trucking accident lawyers at the Katz Law Firm have several decades of experience to help you recover compensation for your injuries. Call a lawyer at our firm today for a free evaluation of your case.