In most cases, when a big rig truck and an automobile get into an accident, the automobile suffers more damage and its occupants suffer worse injuries than the truck and its driver. Fortunately, truck accidents may be avoidable if the driver of the automobile take into account that commercial trucks aren’t the same as automobiles. For example, trucks have more blind spots than automobiles and take longer to speed up and slow down. They also require more room when making a turn.
In order to keep the roads safe, automobile drivers should strive to avoid making the mistakes that can result in an accident with a big rig truck. Here are some tips to for sharing the roads with 18 wheelers and other big rig trucks:
Avoid Driving in a Big Rig Trucks’ Blind Spots
Big rigs and buses have blind spots on all sides of their vehicles. Take care to avoid driving in these blind spots — either slow down or move ahead of the truck to stay visible and be extra careful when merging.
Maintain a Safe Distance
Following a truck too closely could put you in a blind spot; you may be unable to stop in time if the truck driver is forced to hit the brakes.
Watch Out for Wide Turns
Keep in mind that trucks need way more turning room than an automobile and may require more than one lane to complete a turn. Never try to squeeze in between a turning truck and the curb and avoid blocking an intersection so that a truck can complete its turn safely.
Buses and trucks need extra turning room, they swing wide or may start a turn from a middle lane.
Using a seat belt is the best way to protect yourself and the occupants of your vehicle in the event of an accident with a big rig truck.
Avoid Distracted Driving
Always stay focused on the road, especially when you’re sharing the road with 18 wheelers and other big rig trucks. If you find yourself feeling drowsy, pull off for a while and get some rest.
Be Safe While Passing
Before you change lanes, make sure your vehicle is visible to the driver of the truck. Signal clearly, enter the left lane and accelerate so that you get past the truck quickly — don’t linger in their blind spots. Make sure the truck is in your rear view mirror before pulling back into the right lane.
Avoid passing trucks on a downgrade, as they tend to pick up speed.
Avoid Cutting in Front of a Truck
Don’t cut in too close in front of a truck, especially when they are trying to merge or exit. They may not see you when you enter their blind spots and are unable to stop in time to avoid a collision.
Keep Your Cool
Big commercial trucks take longer to accelerate than automobiles. Don’t lose your patience and attempt to unsafely pass the vehicle.
Avoid Impaired Driving
It’s against the law to drive while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. Many tragic accidents have occurred as a result of driving while under the influence.
What To Do If You Are Injured in a Winter Haven Big Rig Accident
Sometimes, being a safe driver isn’t enough to avoid a collision with a big rig. Truck driver error (possibly due to driving while fatigued or under the influence), dangerous road conditions, and defective truck parts are just a few of the common causes of big rig truck accidents. If you’ve been injured in a big truck accident in Florida that wasn’t your fault, the law gives you the right to seek compensation for the damages caused by your injuries, including medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Tania Rivas is an experienced Winter Haven truck accident lawyer dedicated to protecting the rights of clients who have been injured in accidents involving 18 wheelers, tractor-trailers, and other big trucks. She’ll fight the big trucking companies and their insurance companies to get you the fair and just settlement you deserve for your injuries.
Contact Rivas Law Group to schedule a free, no-obligation meeting. Tania will discuss your case, answer any questions you may have, and offer professional advice on the best way to move forward with your claim. Most big rig truck accidents are handled on a contingency basis, so there are no upfront fees to pay if Tania takes your case. Don’t delay taking action — Florida has strict statutes of limitation laws when it comes to seeking damages for injuries sustained in a big rig accident. If you wait too long, the courts may refuse to hear your case!