Every morning while you are on your way to work, you may come across several 18-wheeler commercial trucks. Sharing the road with these huge vehicles can be intimidating and stressful. Experienced drivers are aware of the importance of practicing defensive driving methods. Driving defensively is essential, especially when you are sharing the road with a vehicle that is more than three times as big as your own car.

As a passenger car driver, you need to learn how to share the road safely with commercial trucks. Remember that car-truck collisions are very common, and it usually ends in fatalities; therefore, you need to take extra precaution when driving alongside these huge vehicles. There are simple rules you should follow when driving behind and alongside large trucks.

The Responsibilities Of A Trucking Company

Truck drivers are not the only individuals who should uphold their responsibilities and follow rules and regulations while on the road. Trucking companies should also abide by the responsibilities and regulations set by the state and federal laws.

To make sure that drivers of both passenger cars and large trucks are as safe as possible, the state and federal laws have strict regulations that trucking companies should adhere to. Here are a few of them:

  • The trucking company should make sure that the drivers’ logs and DVIRs are always accurate.
  • They should not require or encourage drivers to violate any safety regulations or rules. There are certain trucking companies that allow their drivers to violate hours of service regulations without imposing any disciplinary action.
  • The drivers hired should meet all the requirements, including commercial driver’s license and passing the drug and alcohol tests.

Since truck companies and drivers have the responsibility to ensure the safety of others while on the road, it is very important to remember that you can seek compensation in case you get injured in a car-truck collision. You can file a lawsuit with the help of an injury attorney and claim damages for the pain, suffering, damages, and losses you incurred.

Safety Tips For Passenger Car Drivers

Blind Spots:

When driving alongside a huge truck, never stay in any of its four blind spots. These spots are called “No-Zones“. Do not drive directly behind, or on the right side of a truck as you won’t be seen by the truck driver. If you are driving on the left side, you should check whether you can see the driver’s side view mirror. If you cannot see it, then you are driving in a blind spot- if you cannot see the mirror, the truck driver won’t be able to see you too. Lastly, avoid driving directly in front of the truck unless you can see the entire truck in your rear view mirror.

Safe Passing:

If want to pass a truck, remember to do so at the left side and make sure that you have plenty of room before you try to switch back in front of it. Keep in mind that trucks need more time to stop than a passenger vehicle; therefore, the truck driver needs enough space in front of them than normal cars.

  • Do not take chances. Always make sure that you have plenty of room to completely pass the truck without the need for excessive speed.
  • Before passing, you should check the traffic in front and the rear. Signal and then change lanes when safe. Do not pass in a no-passing zone.
  • Do not try to pull in front of a truck when the traffic stopped or have slowed down. If you do this, you will take away the truck’s margin of safety which increases the risk of a car crash.
  • If the truck passes you, let the huge vehicle pass by slowing down slightly. Do not speed up because doing so is both dangerous and illegal.
  • If you encounter a truck going the opposite direction, keep as far to the right as possible. This will provide the huge vehicle with enough margin of safety and lower wind turbulence.

Right Turns:

When you want to pass the vehicle, make sure that you are not approaching an intersection. If the truck suddenly turns to the right, you will be sandwiched between the truck and the curb. Since you will be passing the vehicle through the right side, there is a huge chance that this might happen.

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Kris Bennette aims to lower car accident cases by listing driving safety tips for passenger car drivers. In this article, she lists a few safety tips for driving alongside trucks.