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Tips to avoid collisions with big rigs


Some of the most violent collisions we see as injury attorneys involve big trucks, so this post will focus on what you can do to avoid having a wreck with a big truck.

Our first set of tips comes from Road Safe America. This organization was founded by the father of a W&L student who was killed by a speeding big rig on I-81 near Lexington, Virginia, while Hilary and I were in law school there. RSA has these tips:

  • Avoid blind spots around trucks. If you can't see a truck's side mirrors, the truck driver can't see you. One-third of all crashes between large trucks and cars take place in the blind spots around a truck.
  • Do not pass a truck on the right while the truck is turning right. Trucks must swing wide to the left to negotiate right turns safely, as the rear wheels follow a shorter path than the front wheels.
  • Do not cut in front of any large vehicle, including a truck or a bus. Since they require much more distance to stop in comparison to cars, forcing a large vehicle to stop quickly can result in a fatal accident.
  • Use the proper procedure to pass a large truck or bus on the highway. Accelerate slightly and maintain a consistent speed while passing. Wait until you can see the entire cab in your rear-view mirror before signaling and pulling in front of it.
  • Observe a truck's turn signals before trying to pass it. If the truck appears to be starting a left turn, check which way the driver is signaling before passing the truck on the right.
  • Give trucks at least four to six seconds of space in wet conditions and at highway speeds.
  • Call authorities if you see unsafe driving.
  • Do not cut off a truck in traffic or on the highway to reach your exit or turn.
  • Be extra alert as you approach a large truck. They behave very differently from cars.

 Tractor-trailers and dump trucks can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds. While big trucks are necessary for our economy, they are also capable of causing great harm (you can read more about this on our Big Truck Collision page). We hope these tips help you avoid trouble with big trucks.