Traffic safety tips: Sharing the road with large trucks

Taking certain precautions when sharing the road with large trucks may help Ohio and Kentucky drivers stay safe and avoid involvement in trucking accidents.

Each day, drivers throughout Ohio and Kentucky share the streets and highways with large commercial trucks. Unfortunately, collisions involving tractor-trailers and smaller, passenger cars occur all too often and commonly result in serious injuries or death. Although not all trucking accidents can be prevented, using care when sharing the road with large trucks may help drivers keep themselves and their passengers safe.

Stay out of the no-zones

According to AAA, large trucks have significant blind spots that extend 10- to 20-feet to the front, up to 200-feet to the rear and along both sides. When vehicles are in these areas, often referred to as no-zones, truck operators may be unable to see them. In order to help avoid getting into potentially serious accidents with tractor-trailers, drivers are advised to stay out of these no-zones. Should they have to enter large trucks' blind spots, motorists should move through them as quickly as possible and avoid hanging out.

Avoid tailgating

Tailgating large trucks not only endangers motorists by putting them in a no-zone. It may also put them at risk of having their vehicles slide or get pushed under a truck in the event of a collision because tractor-trailers sit significantly higher off the ground than passenger cars and trucks. Thus, it is recommended for drivers to ensure they maintain a safe following distance when traveling behind large trucks on the road.

Watch out for wide right turns

Large trucks have a turning radius of 55 feet. As such, these vehicles may have to veer wide to the left in order to safely make a right turn. Having awareness of the handling and maneuverability differences between tractor-trailers, including the need to make wide turns, may help drivers allow these large trucks the extra space they need to avoid hitting their vehicles, other automobiles or objects on the road.

Refrain from cutting in

Cutting off, or moving in too close or quickly in front of other vehicles, is always a dangerous driving behavior. However, cutting off tractor-trailers may be even more hazardous for drivers. According to the Kentucky Department of Transportation, passenger vehicles striking large trucks from behind account for over 60% of fatal trucking accidents. Cutting in too quickly may result in their vehicles not being visible to truck operators or in truck operators lacking the necessary time and space to avoid a wreck should drivers have to suddenly slow or stop after moving in front of them.

Seeking legal counsel

When people in Ohio and Kentucky are involved in trucking accidents, the results may be devastating for them and their families. In addition to dealing with the physical pain and suffering caused by their injuries, they may be overwhelmed by concerns about mounting medical bills, lost wages and meeting their financial obligations while they are recovering. As such, people who have suffered injuries in these or other types of accidents may benefit from talking with a legal representative about their options for seeking financial compensation.

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