How to Drive Safely Near a Semi-Truck

Posted on behalf of James Lynch on October 17, 2018  in Truck Accident News. Updated on February 24, 2022

green semi-truck on the highwayDriving around a semi-truck can be dangerous and may increase the risk you and passengers face of being injured in an accident. However, there are several ways you can minimize the risk of driving near a semi-truck to improve your safety.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a semi-truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced attorney will understand if the truck’s driver or trucking company is liable for the damages you suffered during the accident.

Below, Lynch Law Firm, PC’s New Jersey truck accident lawyers have prepared several steps to reduce the risk of being involved in an auto accident with a semi-truck. To learn more about your legal options after a truck accident, contact us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.

Drive Defensively

It is important to drive defensively and to be aware of your surroundings when driving, especially while sharing the roadway with a semi-truck.

While driving near a semi-truck, try to pay close attention to the driver’s behavior. Note the speed the truck is traveling, whether the driver uses his or her turn signals and if the truck is veering too close into your lane.

Additionally, keep in mind that semi-trucks make wide turns. Try to give the truck enough room to safely turn and make other driving maneuvers.

Avoid Blind Spots

Another useful tip for traveling around semi-trucks is to avoid the vehicle’s blind spots. A rule that may help you avoid a truck’s blind spots is that if you cannot see the vehicle’s side mirrors, the truck’s driver likely cannot see you.

When passing a truck, it is preferable to do so on the left because of the significant blind spots on the right side of the truck. The front of a semi-truck should be avoided at least 20 feet ahead, and drivers should avoid being within 200 feet from the rear of a commercial truck.

Pass the Truck Quickly

In addition to passing from the left, it is also important to pass a truck quickly to avoid remaining in a blind spot. Avoid cutting in front of a truck until you create enough distance between you and the truck. Also, use your turn signals when completing the pass to make your intentions clear to the driver.

Keep a Safe Following Distance

It is important to give semi-trucks lots of room. Semi-trucks take longer time and distance to come to a complete stop. Following too close to a semi-truck can put you in a dangerous position if you also cannot stop in time to avoid a collision.

It is also important to trail far behind a commercial truck because the truck may experience a tire blowout. This is common on semi-trucks that drive thousands of miles across several states.

Commercial trucks are allowed to carry weights up to 80,000 pounds, which can impose significant stress on the vehicle’s tires. When a tire blows out, shards of heavy rubber can become air-bound and may collide with your vehicle.

The American Trucking Association recommends that you leave yourself 20 to 25 car lengths behind a semi-truck.

Do Not Use Your Bright Lights

When traveling near a semi-truck, do not use your vehicle’s bright lights to illuminate the roadway. Truck drivers often work long hours that extend into the night. Using your vehicle’s bright lights may blind them or cause a distraction that increases the risk of an accident.

Always Use Your Turn Signals

Semi-trucks need more time to react than other types of vehicle because of their large size. Because of this, you should always make your intentions to change lanes clear to a semi-truck driver.

Use your signal at least three seconds before changing lanes or turning. This can help ensure the truck driver has plenty of time to understand your intentions and make any necessary adjustments.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Driving defensively around semi-trucks may increase roadway safety and reduce your chances of being in a truck accident. However, if you or someone you love is injured in a truck accident, you should not hesitate to contact an attorney for help.

Lynch Law Firm, PC’s New Jersey personal injury lawyers are qualified to handle truck accident claims and will help you determine which party is at fault for your damages. During your free, no obligation consultation, we will review your claim to help you understand if you may be entitled to compensation.

All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis. This means that if we represent your claim, we will not charge upfront legal fees. You only pay us if we help you recover compensation for your injuries and financial losses.

Call (800) 518-0508 today to find out if you have a case.

* Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

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