Even experienced drivers can have a moment of worry when they find themselves on the road close to an 18-wheeler. If this is you, you are smart to worry. Large commercial trucks present several dangers ordinary passenger vehicles do not.

Big rigs can contribute to crashes due to their large size and heavy mass, both of which make it harder for trucks to turn or slow down. These factors also tend to increase the severity of any accident where the truck becomes involved. Taking some safety precautions can help other drivers cut down on the likelihood of suffering a car accident with a large truck.

Keep your distance

Give trucks a wide berth no matter if you are traveling in front of, next to or behind one. Because of the height of the truck’s cab, the driver may not see a car directly in front. Additionally, the truck will take far longer to stop if you have to brake suddenly because of traffic ahead or an object on the road. Tailgating, which is never a good idea, can be particularly dangerous when it comes to trucks. Following too closely can cause you to slide underneath the truck if the truck stops suddenly or another car hits you from behind.

Avoid blind spots

Trucks have several wide blind spots. Remember that if you drive next to a truck and you cannot see the driver in your side mirror, the driver cannot see you. Make sure you can see the driver before you begin to pass a truck. Be sure to signal your upcoming lane change and continue keeping your distance as you pass.

Stay away from turning trucks

Stay alert and pay attention to signals from trucks ahead of you. Their length forces trucks to make very wide turns. Some trucks may begin turning from a middle lane. Once you see the turn signal, stay behind at a safe distance and do not attempt to pass quickly.

Unfortunately, even the most careful drivers can get into an accident. If you are the victim of a crash, you may be entitled to legal compensation for expenses such as medical treatment for injuries and damaged property. Speak with a knowledgeable attorney in your area to learn about available options and start on obtaining compensation.