Even if you’ve never driven a large truck, it is obvious that it is a much more challenging endeavor than driving a regular sedan or even an SUV. From learning how to back correctly, to operating a large truck’s ten-speed and figuring out how to shift, there are many challenges, not to mention being on the road for many long hours. There are even physical challenges, with heavy loads of cargo that must be secured, maintenance to the truck on the road, and the exhaustion from sitting and riding for up to 11 hours at a stretch.
While trucking companies may have gone to great lengths to check on their drivers before hiring them, new drivers—and especially those who may lack comprehensive training—sometimes experience great anxiety while beginning to drive. They may not have mastered certain skills, may still be learning how to navigate switching lanes in congested traffic, backing, shifting, and much more. Unfortunately, more experienced drivers may still be negligent due to distracted driving—to include talking, texting, and surfing the internet—or they may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Worse, they could be extremely tired, even if following the rules for not driving more than 11 hours at a time.
As a motorist, it is extremely important to be even more defensive when passing trucks. Here are several tips to follow on the highway:
- If a truck has their blinker on and is waiting to merge or needs to change lanes, always be courteous and allow them room to move. This could make their driving much easier, as switching lanes is much more complicated for a trucker than it is for the average motorist.
- Be careful not to slam on your brakes unexpectedly. Not only could this cause an accident, but with a large truck, you could be seriously injured. Practice extra caution during bad weather or deteriorating conditions.
- Always give the trucker more space if you are traveling uphill.
- Maintain 20 to 25 car lengths behind any large truck. While that may seem like overkill, it is better to be safe than sorry.
- Are you thinking about passing a trucker? Try to be as certain as possible that they can see you by making eye contact in the mirror.
If you have been injured in a truck accident due to the negligence of others, this is not the time to go it alone! Attorney Sgt. Pike has developed a system to combat the various forces in the trucking industry attempting to defeat the rights of those wrongfully injured or killed. Based on his training and experience as a Special Forces Operator (Army Green Beret), Attorney Sgt. Pike activates the Truck Accident Response Team or T.A.R.T. ™ immediately after being hired in appropriate cases. T.A.R.T. ™ then deploys to the area of the crash.