Safe Driving Near Tractor-Trailers and Other Large Vehicles

We’ve discussed the dangers posed by large trucks, tractor-trailers, and semis in previous posts. These massive vehicles can easily crush smaller vehicles and cause large pileups on New York highways. While accidents between passenger vehicles and large trucks often result from negligence on behalf of the truck driver, passenger vehicles can also take steps to prevent accidents when on the road. Here are some strategies to help you avoid a potentially lethal crash with a bus, tractor-trailer, or other large truck.

  1. Watch out for “No Zones”

Large trucks have especially large blind spots, known as “No Zones.” These are located at the point where the cab and trailer connect, the side of the truck, and the rear of the truck. Should the driver decide to change lanes while you are positioned in one of these No Zones, the driver could collide with you. Don’t linger in a position that precludes you from being able to see the truck’s mirrors, as this will not allow the truck to be able to see you.

  1. Don’t get caught between a truck and the curb

Due to the length of their vehicles, large trucks must make wide turns, especially on narrower urban streets. While there may be space between a truck and the curb, if the truck is turning, it will need to close that distance in the process of completing its turn, which could result in cars between the truck and curb being “squeezed,” or crushed. Allow a wide berth to trucks making turns.

  1. Pass with a safe distance between you and the truck, and with plenty of warning

A truck carrying a full load of goods may require up to 300 feet to reach a complete stop. If you swerve in front of a truck while you’re both driving at highway speeds, that truck may not have the time it needs to either avoid hitting you, or avoid swerving into nearby lanes. Before changing lanes in front of a large truck, ensure that the driver has a chance to see your turn signal. Don’t change into the truck’s lane until you can see the front of the truck in your rear view mirror.

If you’ve been injured in a crash with a large truck, semi, or tractor trailer in New York’s Hudson Valley, contact the skilled Hudson Valley truck accident and personal injury attorneys at Basch & Keegan for a free consultation, at (845) 338-8884 in Kingston or (518) 288-5600 in Albany.