Personal injury attorneys don’t want to see an increase of accidents during a long holiday weekend, but we’ve come to expect them. An extra day to forget about the 9 to 5 seems to create a lot more traffic between here and there. Springsians head out of the city. Rural Coloradans head into the city. Tourists head anywhere and everywhere! As we trade places in the name of relaxation and a change in scenery, remember to drive thoughtfully. Passenger vehicles, bikes, motorcycles and trucks all have a legal right (and a need) to get along and share Colorado roads. Thanks to the American Trucking Associations, here are some tips for driving with trucks this Labor Day weekend. We all want everyone, and everything, to safely reach the desired destinations.
Pass on the left and don’t cut back in too closely. Always pass on the left, that’s not specific to passing a tractor-trailer truck, but don’t pull any stunt-driver moves like cutting back into the right lane with only an inch to spare. If you have to brake suddenly, or your vehicle malfunctions, a truck accident will be unavoidable. After you pass the truck, make sure you can see both of the truck’s headlights in your rear view mirror, then pull back in to the right lane. We won’t remind you to use your turn signal, because you already know to do that.
Hurry up and pass (on the left) already. It’s extremely dangerous to drive beside a tractor-trailer truck for a long period of time. Do not use the truck as shade from the sun or as a break from a strong wind or rain. You may end up the victim of a truck accident because the truck driver changed lanes and couldn’t see you. You could be killed if a truck tire bursts and the tread heads in your direction. You could also be run off the road or crushed if the truck jackknifes due to a malfunction or sudden brake.
Beware of blind spots. Does your car have a spot or two in which your side mirrors don’t reflect the cars driving a little bit behind and to the side? Trucks have those blind spots, too, only their obstructed areas are quite a bit larger. Remember this: if you cannot see the truck driver in the truck’s side mirrors, then the truck driver cannot see you. This rule can prevent a car vs. truck accident whether you’re driving behind or beside the truck’s trailer.
Be aware of the other blind spot. In very large vehicles, drivers have an additional blind spot that passenger vehicle drivers don’t experience. It’s just to the right of the cab. Truck accidents often occur when a passenger vehicle pulls up parallel to the right side of the cab and stops. Whereas a small, sporty car may take a right hand turn at a very tight angle, oversized vehicles need to swing wide to the left in order to avoid hitting curbs and other objects on their right. When lanes and traffic are particularly tight, a truck may even need to use two lanes in order to turn right safely. Make sure you give them plenty of space. It’s really not meant to be an inconvenience for you; it’s meant to prevent a truck accident!
The personal injury attorneys at Heuser and Heuser are here for you should you be involved in an accident over the holiday weekend. Call us, or use our easy online form and tell us what happened.