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Tips for Driving Near Tractor-Trailers and Other Large Vehicles

Lorry Cargo Transport Delivery in motion, United Kingdom M1 Motorway

Semis, tractor-trailers, eighteen-wheelers, and other large trucks are a necessary evil on U.S. roadways. The trucking industry is an essential part of the economy, but these large trucks pose a risk of a catastrophic accident when handled negligently. As a passenger vehicle or other non-truck driver on a New York freeway, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your passengers while sharing the road with a large truck. Read on for tips on how to drive nearby a large truck or bus, and discuss your case with an experienced New York car accident attorney if you or a family member has been injured in a large truck crash in the Hudson Valley.

Avoid Blind Spots

One of the most common reasons that large trucks crash into other vehicles is that the other, smaller vehicle was hidden in the truck’s blind spot. If you are next to a large truck, the driver may simply be unable to see you. Commercial truck drivers have blind spots on both sides of the vehicle and near the front and back. One rule of thumb: If you cannot see the truck driver in their mirror, then they might not be able to see you. Be vigilant if you are nearby a large truck and work to avoid their blind spots.

Pass Quickly and Safely

To avoid staying in a truck’s blind spot and mitigate the risk of an unexpected move by the trucker or another driver, it is best not to linger. If you are passing a large truck, do it quickly and carefully. Approach from the left side to limit your time in a blind spot, and always signal clearly and well in advance of passing. If a truck passes you, slow down to allow sufficient space in front of you for them to come over.

Increase Your Following Distance

If you are behind a truck, keep in mind that it will take much longer for them to make a sudden stop if they encounter a hazard on the road. If you are tailgating a semi, not only will they not be able to see you, but you are likely to rear-end them if they have a tire blowout, if there’s a vehicle malfunction, or if they make a sudden stop. You will be damaged much more seriously than the truck if you hit them.

Drive Patiently

One of the simplest, most important, and occasionally difficult things to do while driving near a large truck is to simply be patient. They will take longer changing lanes, passing, making turns, or making any other maneuvers. They are going as fast as they can safely go. It does not help to honk your horn, tailgate, or otherwise make aggressive driving maneuvers. Doing so can distract the driver and put the trucker, you, your passengers, and everyone else on the road at an increased risk of a crash.

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a crash with a large truck in New York, find out if you have a right to compensation for your injuries by contacting the seasoned and talented Hudson Valley personal injury lawyers at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP for a free consultation at 845-331-4100 (Kingston) or 845-236-4411 (Marlboro).

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