Show a little love to truckers and give them the space they need
Truck drivers often must mitigate unique safety issues while operating their vehicles. Large trucks can outweigh smaller vehicles by 30 times, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Due to this weight, trucks require more stopping distance than other vehicles, as any Chicago truck accident lawyer knows. Large trucks also can ride over other vehicles because of their high clearance.
Many of these risks can be addressed if truck drivers have more space and time to react to emergencies. By leaving more space around large trucks, Illinois drivers can significantly lower their likelihood of experiencing serious accidents.
Avoiding danger zones
Passenger vehicle drivers should always allow extra space when following, passing or maneuvering near large trucks. When possible, drivers should also avoid several distinct areas around trucks. These areas include:
- The space directly behind the semi trailer — drivers should always leave a following distance of at least three seconds. Following a large vehicle more closely can prevent drivers from seeing approaching road conditions or hazards.
- The area ahead of the truck tractor — in ideal conditions, trucks need much more space to stop than cars. Any Chicago truck accident lawyer understands that factors such as improper brake maintenance can further raise stopping distance. To lower the risk of truck accidents, drivers should always leave extra space when maneuvering in front of trucks.
- The side blind spots — on the driver’s side, a typical truck blind spot extends back from the driver’s door. On the passenger side, the blind spot overlaps the entire length of the truck tractor. Drivers should never pass large trucks on the passenger side.
Drivers should also take care to leave adequate space around turning trucks. Turning trucks may swing more widely or travel at different speeds than expected. Drivers should be cautious when entering intersections in which trucks are turning. Drivers should also refrain from passing a truck on whichever side the truck is turning toward. This maneuver can take drivers into a truck’s blind spot or the lane the truck is turning into.
Finally, during emergency stops, drivers must leave an appropriate amount of space around their vehicles. Drivers should pull as far over on the right side of the road as possible. This reduces the risk of a catastrophic collision occurring if a truck drifts from its lane.
Recourse for accidents
Even with these precautions, some passenger vehicle drivers may experience accidents involving large trucks. If a preventable accident occurs because of a trucker’s errors or recklessness, victims may be able to seek compensation. A Chicago truck accident lawyer can further advise victims on their legal rights and options.
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