Large commercial trucks are so prevalent on our roads and highways, that many consumer drivers do realize how dangerous these huge road beast actually are. While all car accidents hold the potential for serious damage and physical harm, these risks multiply many times over when an accident involves a commercial truck.
For many drivers, the problem is that they simply do not understand the limitations of commercial trucks when navigating the road. These vehicles cannot maneuver with the ease and precision that even a large consumer vehicle enjoys, but many consumer drivers treat them as if they can stop, turn, or react to changes in traffic as easily as an SUV.
To remain safe on the road with commercial trucks, it is important to do your part as a driver. Remaining mindful of these limitations can help you adjust your driving behavior to keep you out of unnecessary risk, and keep your fellow drivers safe as well.
Commercial trucks ride much higher off the road than consumer vehicles, so much so that the area immediately surrounding the truck can hide a consumer vehicle entirely. Be sure that you think of the limitations a commercial truck driver faces when sharing the road.
When behind the trailer of the truck, or directly beside or in front of the cab, the driver often cannot see you at all. Should anything go wrong, the driver may not realize you're there until it's too late. In general, it is wise to avoid driving close to a commercial truck, and to move well away from them as soon as you can.
Limited braking and turning
Commercial trucks also require longer stretches of road and more time to stop than lighter consumer vehicles. This often results in commercial drivers simply not having the room or time they need to stop safely when the need arises, because other vehicles are too close to them.
If you pull in front of a commercial truck, for instance, and then must stop quickly, the truck behind you may face great difficulty stopping safely without hitting you.
Trucks also require more room to turn, and may need to swing much wider than a consumer vehicle. While it is always wise to give a commercial truck room to turn, it is crucial to avoid passing a truck on the right as it turns right. When a commercial driver turns right, he or she has much less visibility and may not see a consumer vehicle that attempts to pass on the right, causing an accident.
You can't prevent other drivers' mistakes
You may do your part to keep the roads safe, but you cannot keep others from making poor driving choices. If you do suffer injuries or serious damage to your property in a commercial truck accident, be sure to seek out professional guidance that can help you understand your legal options and protect your rights.