Most of us learn about defensive driving as teenagers. This is one of the most vital elements to good driving, as it means staying safer on the roads, and watching out for hazards diligently. All too often, the danger is caused by other drivers who are distracted, unable to leave their phones alone for even a few minutes, worried they could miss out on a text or call. They may also be involved in other reckless activities such as speeding or ignoring other traffic signals or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Defensive driving also means never expecting other drivers to be diligent, and assuming the worst. While that may not be a particularly optimistic way to operate—it could save your life more times than you will ever realize as you prevent accidents from occurring. When it comes to accidents with large trucks, be aware that the threat is very real, as a truck could weigh over 20 times what a car does and cause injuries that may be long-lasting, or tragic fatalities. As a motorist, it is always important to be careful when in the vicinity of large trucks on the highway – whether you are passing them, being tailgated by one, or perhaps even trapped, traveling in a convoy of trucks.
Remember that just like other motorists, truck drivers may be prone to fatigue, they could be driving while drunk or under the influence of pills or other drugs. Some truck drivers may still be learning how to maneuver a large vehicle, and they could be dealing with maintenance issues if a tire is about to blow out or they are losing control of the breaks. Cargo falling out of the back of a truck and onto the road could cause serious dangers too as other cars swerve to avoid debris or run into it or over it.
Also remember to practice extra caution when:
- Passing trucks – this is always the time to practice extreme caution, as you may be traveling in the truck’s blind spot, and they could also have trouble braking quickly to let you in front of them. When passing on the left, make sure to go the speed limit, and use your turn signal when crossing into the next lane. Whenever you are the one being passed by a truck, keep a close eye on their activity as they are in proximity, slowing down to give them more space to pass if needed. Although aggressive driving is never recommended, this is not the time to bring it on.
- Always give trucks additional car lengths ahead of you than you normally would upon traveling behind. This will help you avoid a rear-end collision if they must brake abruptly.
- Be careful when merging onto the highway. Trucks cannot decrease their speed as easily as you can, so take your time and do not put yourself in harm’s way if you see trucks approaching.
- Always make sure the trucker can see you. They are more prone to blind spots, always travel at least 30 feet behind a truck and remember to look for them in their rearview mirrors—as they can usually see you if you can see them.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of others, please call the law offices of Andrew ‘Pike’ Piekalkiewicz, PLLC as soon as possible at (713) 748-7453 or visit Attorney Sgt Pike for a no obligation case review.
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.