Large trucks are a common sight on Illinois interstates and other roads. Many of us, nonetheless, get a little nervous when we see a large tractor-trailer or semi-truck in front or back of us or in an adjoining lane. Has the driver had enough sleep? Have they been drinking? Has the truck been serviced recently? These concerns are valid because a crash with a truck can result in serious injuries for people in cars.
There are some precautions we can all take to minimize the risk of being involved in a crash with a truck:
Stay out of the driver’s blind spots. Also called “no-zones,” these are much larger for truck drivers than for people driving cars, and they’re on all four sides. While you may not know precisely where those blind spots are, a good rule of thumb is that you should be able to see the truck driver in your side view mirror. If you can’t, they may not be able to see you. Stay either well behind or ahead of trucks.
Be careful when passing a truck. Again, ensure that you see the driver in your mirror. Activate your turn signal before you move to the left lane. Once you’ve done that, drive past the truck. Don’t stay in a blind spot. Make sure you can see the entire truck behind you before you move in front of it. If a truck is passing you, slow down and give them plenty of room to do so.
Give trucks extra space to turn. Trucks and other large vehicles like buses have to make wide turns. Stay back and allow them the room they need for the turn.
Don’t tailgate, even when stopped. Of course, it’s never wise to travel too closely behind any vehicle. However, if you tailgate a truck, you’re probably in the driver’s blind spot. Further, trucks can roll backward when stopped — particularly on uphill roads. Allow extra room ahead of you.
Unfortunately, these safety precautions can’t always prevent a crash with a reckless, negligent or impaired truck driver or one driving a truck that is defective or improperly maintained. If you’ve suffered injuries in a truck crash, it’s wise to determine which individuals and/or companies can and should be held liable so that you can get the compensation you need as you heal and move forward.