Large commercial trucks move everything from freshly-brewed beer to produce across the country. Road transportation helps keep costs for consumers and retailers low. Trucking is also a solid career choice that doesn’t require secondary education. Commercial drivers do have to attend special driving schools, but it is a far cry from a multiple-year degree.
Additionally, truck drivers can earn a solid wage that allows them to support themselves and their family members. In other words, commercial trucking has a net positive impact on the United States economy. However, commercial trucks have a negative effect on overall safety on the roads. Every year, thousands of people die or wind up severely injured after collisions with commercial vehicles.
Many different factors contribute to crash rates with commercial vehicles. Many of these contributing factors stem from trucker behaviors. Exhaustion, impairment and distraction are all risk factors related to how truckers perform their jobs. These are issues that other drivers have no influence over. However, there is one factor that contributes to crashes that other drivers can control.
Learn and avoid the blind spots around trucks
Because of their massive size, commercial trucks have larger blind spots than passenger vehicles. Even with extra mirrors in place, commercial truckers may not be able to see people driving on any side of their truck in close proximity. One of the best ways for people on the road to mitigate the risk related to driving close to commercial trucks is to give them plenty of space.
The large blind spots around commercial trucks exist on all sides. Ideally, you should avoid driving directly to either side of, in front of or behind a commercial truck. Never merge into the 20 feet in front of a truck, and stay more than 30 feet behind them. If possible, avoid the lane directly to the left and two lanes to the right of a commercial truck’s trailer.
People in vehicles have rights when they get hurt by truckers
Even if you do everything in your power to avoid a truck’s blind spots, that doesn’t completely eliminate the dangers of sharing the road with commercial trucks. Commercial truck drivers can still wind up causing injuries to you or the passengers in your vehicle if they make mistakes.
If that happens, be sure to assert your right immediately after the collision. Speaking with an attorney who understands personal injury law is a good first step. Your lawyer can advise you of what forms of compensation may be available to you and the best tactics for connecting with them. They can also help you avoid common mistakes that people make after a crash that limit the success of their claims or lawsuits.