Five Tips for Sharing the Road with Trucks
It’s a fact of life that if you live in Suffolk County, New York you are going to need to drive a car. Mass transit is nearly impossible to use, so our roads are always crowded, especially at rush hour. On top of that, we have many eighteen-wheelers and box trucks traveling through our county every day. Therefore, safely sharing the roads with big rigs is a must.
As a Long Island truck accident lawyer, I have seen my share of injured people, many of whom have been in accidents with larger, heavier trucks. As a result of seeing so many truck accidents, I’ve been able to develop some tips for drivers sharing the road with trucks.
Safety Tips When Driving With Trucks
- Always drive defensively, especially when you are near trucks. Defensive driving is always a good idea but never more important than when you’re near a truck. Always pay attention to your surroundings. Scan the roads and take note of any large trucks. It’s always best to avoid these dangerous vehicles. Truck drivers have a difficult time reacting quickly to emergency situations due to their size and weight. As a rule of thumb, use the four-second rule, this means you should leave a four-second gap between you and any truck.
- If it is necessary to pass a truck, you should do so with extreme caution. Remember, trucks have many blind spots, so always try to pass a truck quickly and move far away again. Do not linger in blind spots as this greatly increases the risk of an accident.
- Never cut in front of a truck. This is important because trucks have large breaking distances. It takes an 18-wheel truck over two hundred yards to stop from a speed of 65 miles per hour, therefore, don’t take a chance, make sure that you have tons of room before you turn in front of a truck.
- Always dim your bright lights at night when driving past trucks. Temporarily blinding a truck driver as you pass can have disastrous consequences. A good rule is to dim your bright lights at least one block in advance of passing the truck.
- Always signal your intentions around a truck. Whether you’re passing, merging, or turning, it’s always important that you let the truck driver know what your intentions are, so they can know how to react in advance.
About the Author
Steven Palermo is the managing partner for Palermo Law, Long Island’s Personal Injury Law Firm. He has been helping people receive compensation for their injuries for over 21 years. He focuses on cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents and slip and fall injuries.
His book The Ultimate Guide to Handling New York Car Accident Claims details the ins and outs of a car accident claim in a simple, easy-to-read manner.