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Driving around larger trucks on the roadway can be intimidating. Some people downright avoid operating close to these larger vehicles. However, it is possible to safely operate around commercial trucks, but drivers must proceed with caution. Here, we want to discuss five tips that you can follow to ensure that you operate safely around commercial trucks on California’s roadways.
We know that defensive driving means being aware of your surroundings and the actions of other drivers around you. However, this is especially crucial when it comes to operating near larger commercial trucks. Not only do you need to know about the location of the large truck, but you need to know about the actions of other drivers interacting with the commercial vehicle. Regardless of whether or not you are a new driver or a veteran on the roadway, you need to remain vigilant around these larger vehicles.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) calls large truck blind spots “No Zones” because these are areas where no vehicles should operate for an extended period of time. These blind spots are right in front of and behind large commercial vehicles as well as along either side of the truck. Traveling inside of these blind spots could lead to severe injuries and accidents if the truck driver performs a lane change or a sudden stop.
It is good practice never to cut off any vehicle on the roadway, especially larger commercial trucks. Any driver who changes lanes right in front of a larger truck is putting themselves and others on the roadway in danger. These large vehicles require much more time and distance in order to come to a complete stop. There is no such thing as a “quick” stop for a larger truck.
If you need to pass a larger commercial vehicle on the roadway, you need to take your time and study the surrounding lanes before doing so. If you are on a highway with multiple lanes going in the same direction, you need to pass the truck on the left. When you do decide to pass a larger truck, you should do so as quickly as possible without violating the speed limit. Do not linger on either side of the larger truck, as this will put you in the driver’s blind spot.
When you are operating on the roadway, you have to be cognizant of when you use your high beams. The use of high beams around larger commercial trucks could put your lights right into the truck driver’s mirror, which can temporarily blind them. You should always use your turn signals on the roadway so the other drivers around you know your intentions.
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident with a large commercial truck, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney immediately. An Orange County truck accident lawyer can examine the facts of your case and help you recover compensation for your losses.