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Sharing is caring: how to share the road with an 18-wheeler

Sep 30 2019

Driving along the highway or interstate might feel like second nature to you. When sharing the road with a large truck, however, drivers can’t be too careful. Why? Because fatalities are more likely to occur within the passenger vehicle

Cars and other passenger vehicles are simply too vulnerable. 

That said, there are many ways you can protect yourself and your passengers. The following tips will help you drive your best around 18-wheelers and avoid accidents that could be fatal. 

7 tips for sharing the road with big-rigs and large trucks

Tip #1: Stay alert

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve been driving for a long time. You feel comfortable behind the wheel and know what to do. A split-second distraction could mean the difference between life and death. Don’t play on your phone or press buttons on the radio, especially when driving near an 18-wheeler. Keep alert at all times. 

Tip #2: Keep a safe distance from 18-wheelers

No matter how the driver of the 18-wheeler acts on the road, there is no excuse for tailgating or cutting in front of a large truck. 18-wheelers don’t have fast reaction times as we do in passenger vehicles. A brief moment of road rage (or even road irritation) could result in a tragedy. Keep your distance to stay safe. Around 30 feet is a safe distance and will allow everyone plenty of time to slow down if needed. 

Tip #3: Know your blind spots, as well as trucks’ blind spots

Do you know where the blind spots are on your vehicle? You should. You should also know where the blind spots are on a truck. A good rule of thumb is to never drive on either side of an 18-wheeler. Blind spots on the sides of trucks mean that they could pull over at any moment and force you off the road, or worse, into the lane of another vehicle. 

Tip #4: Pass quickly

If you do need to pass an 18-wheeler, make sure you do so quickly. Your speed should be within reason, but you shouldn’t dawdle on the side of a truck for the reasons mentioned above. Allow yourself plenty of space to move around the truck and then pass the truck, remembering not to slow down immediately in front of the 18-wheeler once you pass. 

Tip #5: Give plenty of time by signaling

Be sure that you signal to all other cars on the road whenever you’re making a right or left-hand turn. This signal is especially important for truck drivers who rely on those visual cues from passing cars. The idea is to give the truck plenty of time to react to your vehicle if it needs to slow down. 

Tip #6: Move at a consistent speed

Along with tip #5, cars should give truckers a sense of what to expect at any given moment on the road. 18-wheelers are special. Special in the sense that one false move might cause a catastrophe for other drivers. Pass quickly and make sure you’re using signals. Consistency in driving means road safety for everyone involved. 

Tip #7: Anticipate wide turns

Drivers should never pass a truck on its right side. This rule is because a truck driver might be making a turn. In the event of a turn, the truck travels widely, often spilling (briefly) into other lanes. All drivers should be aware whenever trucks have their turn signal on. Whenever you see that blinking light, you should use extra precautions. 

Know who to call in the event of an 18-wheeler accident

Our Mississippi car wreck attorneys at ‘Maggio | Thompson, LLP take our jobs seriously. We provide counsel for victims of car and truck accidents and do our best to help you win your case. 

If an 18-wheeler injured you or your vehicle, give us a call today. We’d love to talk with you and help you move forward. 

Contact ‘Maggio | Thompson, LLP, serving Gulfport, Jackson, and surrounding areas for a number of legal issues. We do what’s best for our clients. You can always trust us to be honest and have your best interest in mind. Just give us a call today at 601.300.3333.

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