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Posted 10/17/2023 in Personal Injury by Erik Abrahamson

Safety Tips For Driving Near 18-Wheelers article


Safety Tips For Driving Near 18-Wheelers article

Truck accidents in Florida are a matter of significant concern, with the state earning a notorious reputation as one of the worst in the nation for such incidents. According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Florida is among just ten states that collectively contribute to half of all fatal truck crashes in the United States. This alarming statistic underscores the severity of the problem, both in Florida and nationally. These types of accidents often leave victims wondering how much will you get paid if a 18 wheeler hit you

In recent years, the nation witnessed nearly 450,000 heavy truck crashes, and these incidents accounted for a substantial 12 percent of all traffic fatalities. What's particularly concerning is that the majority of these fatalities involve occupants of other vehicles rather than the truck drivers themselves. 

This highlights the critical importance of knowing common tips and tricks for driving safely around trucks, as it could make a significant difference in reducing the severity of these accidents and saving lives. Safe driving practices are vital in ensuring road safety, especially when sharing the road with these massive commercial vehicles.

Know Your Truck Blind Spots

Large commercial vehicles, such as those commonly seen on Florida roads, have four important blind spots that require close attention. When drivers find themselves within these blind spots, they face the risk of going unnoticed by the truck driver. This situation can result in dangerous scenarios, like the truck attempting to change lanes or make a turn while the smaller vehicle is in its path. Despite the widespread misconception that truck drivers benefit from an expansive field of vision due to their elevated cabs, the truth is quite different. Although they may have a clear view of the road ahead, their ability to see the sides and rear of their vehicles remains extremely limited, even with the assistance of large mirrors.

Being in a truck's blind spots in Florida can lead to severe consequences, including significant damage, serious injuries, or even loss of life. It is crucial to become acquainted with the specific blind spots of large commercial vehicles in order to exercise caution and prevent finding yourself in one of these perilous areas. Both your safety and the safety of fellow road users hinge on this knowledge.

To safely navigate around large commercial trucks, it's crucial to understand their blind spots. Here's a list of key blind spots and tips for avoiding potential hazards:

  1. Behind the Truck (Approx. 30 feet) - This is a significant blind spot for truck drivers. If you're within 30 feet of the truck's rear end and can't see its side mirrors, you're too close. Avoid tailgating large trucks to reduce the risk of accidents.

  2. In Front of the Truck (Approx. 20 feet) - The front of a truck is also a blind spot due to the elevated cabin and the truck's height. Cutting off a truck should be avoided, as they might not see you until you're over 20 feet in front. Wait until you can see the truck's front in your rearview mirror after passing it.

  3. Left Side of the Truck - The left-side blind spot starts just behind the left-hand side mirror and extends about half the length of the truck. When passing, exercise caution and maintain a safe distance.

  4. Right Side of the Truck - On the right side, the blind spot covers the entire cabin and approximately half the trailer's length in the adjacent lane. If passing on the right, complete the maneuver in less than 30 seconds to minimize the risk of accidents.

By keeping these blind spots in mind and following these tips, you can enhance your safety and that of others when sharing the road with large commercial trucks.

Tips For Passing A Heavy Duty Truck Safely

Utilizing these tips and tricks is essential to minimize the risk of being involved in an accident with a truck.

  • Beware of Blind Spots - Heavy-duty trucks have significant blind spots, especially on the right side. Avoid lingering in these areas to minimize risks.

  • Pass Quickly - When overtaking a truck, aim to complete the pass within 30 seconds to reduce the time spent in a blind spot.

  • Maintain a Steady Speed - Keep a consistent speed when passing and avoid sudden acceleration or deceleration.

  • Signal Early - Communicate your intentions by signaling in advance, and regularly check your mirrors.

  • Safe Merge - Before returning to your lane, ensure there is ample space ahead of the truck to merge safely.

These practices will enhance your ability to pass heavy-duty trucks securely and efficiently during your journey on the road.

Additional Safety Tips For Driving Around Trucks

Driving defensively around trucks in Florida is vital for ensuring road safety. Here are some important tips and tricks to keep in mind:

  • Maintain Safe Following Distance - Always maintain a safe following distance behind trucks. Trucks require more time to stop, so leaving ample space can prevent rear-end collisions.

  • Exercise Patience - Be patient around trucks. Avoid cutting off trucks when merging, as their visibility is limited in front of them.

  • Obey Speed Limits - Adhere to speed limits and drive at a safe, consistent speed, avoiding sudden changes in velocity that can catch truck drivers off guard.

  • Stay Cautious in Bad Weather - Exercise extra caution in adverse weather conditions, as trucks require even more space and time to stop safely.

  • Anticipate Wide Turns - Be aware that trucks make wide turns, especially when turning right. Keep your distance and let them complete the maneuver.

By incorporating these defensive driving strategies into your daily commute, you can reduce the risk of accidents and ensure a safer experience when sharing the road with trucks in Florida.

Injured In A Truck Accident? Contact A Truck Accident Lawyer Near You

Many truck accident victims in Florida wonder how much will you get paid if an 18-wheeler hit you, and the best way to find out is to obtain the legal services of a truck accident lawyer in Florida. If you've been injured in such an accident, it's crucial to reach out to an experienced attorney specializing in truck accident cases. 

These legal professionals possess the knowledge and expertise to navigate the complexities of truck accident claims, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve. They can help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent your interests in court if necessary. Contacting a Florida truck accident lawyer is the first step towards securing your rights, getting the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, and ultimately, achieving justice for your ordeal.


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