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How to drive safely around trucks

June 3, 2011 by Steven M. Gursten

Truck accident attorney lists 17 safety tips to avoid truck accidents

Here’s something a lot of people don’t realize: many truck accidents are caused not by truckers, but by other passenger cars that drive around trucks.

These truck accidents are almost always preventable. Our truck accident attorneys want to share these safety tips for traveling near trucks – so truckers and people driving cars can be safe and avoid accidents:

1. Don’t abruptly change lanes around a truck.

2. Slow down, and let trucks have the right of way.

3. Drive at a safe speed.

4. Adjust your speed according to the weather conditions.

5. Be aware of traffic signals and road conditions.

6. Always use your turn signals.

7. If you can, avoid driving next to a truck.

8. NEVER cut-off a truck, especially when it needs to stop.

9. Trucks have large blind spots called “no zones,” so follow the rule that if you can’t see the truck driver in his outside mirrors, than he most likely can’t see your vehicle.

10. Use low-beam headlights when following trucks at night.

11. Maintain at least a minimum four-second following distance from a truck.

12. When passing, remember that large trucks are much longer than cars, and they take a longer time to pass.

13. Maintain a constant speed when passing and make sure you can see the front of the truck in your rear-view mirror before moving in front of the trucker.

14. When being passed by a tractor-trailer, slow down a little, as water or dirt from its tires could spray and reduce your visibility.

15. Be careful when passing a truck that is also pulling a trailer, because the trailer could swing in your lane.

16. Do NOT try to squeeze into the space next to a semi-truck when it’s turning, because it could hit you or even drive over the top of your car.

17. When traveling on the highway, try not to drive in between two or more trucks, as they might not see you and pull into your lane, forcing you into another vehicle.

18. If you are stopped behind a commercial truck on an incline, leave space in between in case the truck drifts backward when it starts to accelerate.

Steven Gursten is a partner of Michigan Auto Law and one of the most renowned truck accident attorneys in the country. He is past president of the American Association for Justice Truck Accident Litigation Group, and has received the top-reported jury verdict in Michigan for truck accidents. Steve was named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly Leader in the Law for his efforts in promoting national truck safety.

Related information:

Support for injured truck drivers

Michigan truck accident FAQs

Link confirmed between truck accidents and bad truck drivers

Michigan Auto Law exclusively handles car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state of Michigan. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Detroit to better serve you. Call (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation with one of our truck accident attorneys.

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2 Replies to “How to drive safely around trucks”

  1. Wow, thank you so much for these tips! I am glad that I found this website because, as a person who drive on the highway that has a lot of huge trucks on the road, it is very daunting. I love driving on the highway, but I get kind of nervous when I see big trucks because I know that they have huge blind spots. I am bookmarking this, and the next time I drive on the highway and I see some trucks, I will keep your tips in mind. Driving defensively and safely is of the paramount importance when on the road.

    Again, thank you!

  2. Great Article. People don’t realize that trucks need more room to stop, more room to turn, and more room to maneuver. As drivers, we need to respect the limitations of trucks by giving them the space they need. And you are so right – it is often NOT the truck driver but the other driver who compromises many driving sitauations. The key for those of us in cars is to simply exercise a little patience. Again, Great Article!

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