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Tips to Share the Road With Large Trucks in Indiana

Accident burned cab of a truck on the road

Semis, tractor-trailers, big rigs, eighteen-wheelers, and other large commercial vehicles are more dangerous than other vehicles on the road. They require much more expertise to operate, and if a passenger car crashes with a large truck, the passenger car occupants are at much greater risk for serious harm. It’s important to be especially careful when sharing the road with large trucks in Indiana. Continue reading for tips on how to mitigate the risk of a commercial truck crash. If you’ve been hurt in a large truck crash in Indiana, call an Indianapolis truck crash lawyer at Lee Cossell & Feagley, LLP, for advice and representation.

Drive Defensively

Defensive driving is always good behavior, but it’s especially important when driving around large commercial vehicles. Driving defensively means driving as if everyone else on the road is about to make a mistake. Anticipate dangerous situations, including sudden hazards and driver mistakes, and remain alert. With a large truck, keep watch for swerving, speeding, and unexpected lane changes, as well as for dangers such as if the truck’s haul were suddenly to come loose.

Watch Out for Blind Spots

Big rigs have much larger blind spots than other vehicles. If you are in an eighteen-wheeler’s blind spot, whether you are driving a passenger car or truck or riding a motorcycle, you are at risk of being struck during a lane change or other unexpected movement. Blind spots may exist wherever the truck driver cannot see your vehicle.

For most large trucks, the right side is the largest blind spot, as well as directly in front of the cab, behind the trailer, and in certain zones along the driver’s side. Limit your time in these zones if you can and remain extra vigilant whenever you are in these areas.

Pass Carefully

Often, passenger car drivers prefer to pass large trucks to avoid slow-downs. It’s also safer overall to simply give large trucks a wide berth, so if you can pass them and leave them behind, it’s probably better for you and your passengers.

When passing a large truck, however, it’s important to be careful. Pass on the left, in order to keep with the speed of traffic and avoid the trucker’s worst blind spots, pass as quickly as you safely can, and use extra caution to avoid unexpected dangers.

Keep a Safe Distance

The farther you can stay away from large trucks, the better. Driving close to the truck puts you at risk of sudden stops, loss of trailer control, unexpected lane changes, loose debris spilling from the truck bed, and other potential hazards. If you’re behind the truck, give several car lengths of space (at least four seconds) instead of tailgating. If you must drive in front or beside the truck, give plenty of space to leave room for merging, changing lanes, and otherwise maneuvering.

Watch for Wide Turns

If you’re at an intersection and you see a large truck ready to turn, be careful, give them a wide berth, and allot more time for their turn than you would a smaller vehicle. Semis take especially wide turns, often occupying an additional lane of traffic while they do so. If you’re passing a truck, make sure they are not about to make a turn, because they might swerve into your lane to do so.

Always Signal

It’s always important to signal before turning, merging, or changing lanes. It’s especially important to signal responsibility when a large truck is around. If they make a maneuver based on the assumption that you are staying in your current lane and you make an unexpected move, you put yourself, your passengers, and everyone else on the road at risk of a catastrophic accident.

Call for Seasoned Legal Help After an Indianapolis Truck Accident

Although you might drive as safely and carefully as you can, you can’t control what a negligent truck driver might do at any given moment. If you or someone you love has been hurt or killed in a traffic accident in Indiana, contact the dedicated Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at Lee Cossell & Feagley, LLP, for a free consultation on your case at 316-631-5151.

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