Gift giving is a major component of the holiday season, meaning that products need to be restocked at a lightning-fast rate this time of year. Since truck drivers are responsible for delivering many of the goods we purchase this time of year, you may have already noticed far more big rigs out on the road than usual. Read on to learn how you can best avoid an accident with a heavy commercial truck during the holidays.
Avoid a Truck’s Blind Spots
Large freight vehicles have enormous blind spots on all sides. When you are driving in one of these blind spots, the truck driver won’t be able to see your vehicle very well or even at all. Traveling in a semi-truck’s blind spot is incredibly dangerous, as the truck might switch lanes or turn directly into your much smaller vehicle without even realizing you’re there. You can see an image illustrating a commercial truck’s blind spots here on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website to better help you stay out of harm’s way.
Make Eye Contact with Truck Drivers When Maneuvering
When a truck driver cannot see your vehicle, it means they also cannot see you. One of the best ways to get their attention and ensure your safety is to make eye contact with a trucker in one of their side mirrors before passing. This is also the case for any pedestrians trying to cross the street in front of a large truck—make sure you know they can see you before crossing. Truckers are often concentrating more on handling their heavy vehicles than their surroundings, so getting them to visually acknowledge you can go a long way towards preventing a crash.
Pass Only on the Left
A semi truck’s largest blind spot is on the right side. It is very difficult for truckers to see vehicles directly next to them in the right two lanes, so you are far better off passing on the driver’s side where only one lane is affected. This way, you will only be in a trucker’s blind spot for a brief moment and far less likely to be hit.
Don’t Drive After Dark When You Can
Many truckers drive at all hours of the night, especially if they believe it will help them make a delivery deadline. These deadlines tend to be even more uncompromising during the busy holiday season, so truckers may be driving while very exhausted or even while under the influence of a significant amount of caffeine or other stimulants. Plus, visibility is far lower at night. With all these additional risks present, we recommend avoiding driving after dark, especially on highways where trucks are more likely to be present.
If you are feeling frustrated because there are multiple big rigs taking up the lanes ahead of you, pause and take a moment to think before attempting to perform a dangerous maneuver to pass. With a little patience, it’s likely the trucks will exit the highway or gravitate to the right side of the highway soon enough and you’ll be able to pass more easily.
Contact us if you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in Pasadena. We may be able to help you win compensation to pay for your medical and other expenses! Free consultations available.