How can drivers stay safe around trucks?

You've seen the aftermath of a semi accident. The semi was barely damaged, but the car it hit was a mangled wreck. You know that drivers in other cars are in a lot of danger if they're involved in one of these crashes.

At the same time, you know that you have to drive around semis with regularity. If you can't avoid them, how can you stay safe?

The first thing that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) suggests is staying away from blind spots or "no zones." Trucks have a lot of them:.Don't ride in these areas for any significant amount of time, as the truck driver may not know you're there.

The FMCSA also says not to cut off large vehicles. Remember that they can take as much as 40 percent more distance to stop. If you're coming up to a light, for instance, don't switch lanes, pull in front of a truck and hit the brakes. The truck driver may have needed the entire distance to the light to stop. Your car will stop, and then the truck will plow into it.

If you're caught behind a slow truck, don't be aggressive. Don't tailgate or pass without signaling. Trucks have lower speed limits that they have to follow. Aggressive driving won't get you past the truck any faster, but it could lead to a crash.

Even when you do all you can to stay safe, truck drivers can make mistakes and cause accidents. You must know your legal rights if you suffer serious or catastrophic injuries.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Tips for Driving Safely Around Large Trucks or Buses," accessed Nov. 02, 2017

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