The holiday season is the time to go on shopping sprees for exciting gifts for your whole family, all your friends, your best coworkers, and even yourself. As everyone shops in-store and online, products fly off shelves and need to be replenished more often than usual. For this reason, it is not uncommon to notice many, many more commercial trucks on the roads and highways.
The increased number of big rigs will cause an increased risk of getting into a truck accident. This is doubly true when considering that many truck drivers working a holiday delivery schedule are driving for long hours each day and to the point of exhaustion. To stay safe on the road this holiday season, it helps to know some safety tips about driving around tractor-trailers, especially more than one.
Five safety tips for holiday driving near big rigs are:
- Stay out of blind spots: Commercial trucks have enormous blind spots that can hide one or more passenger vehicles. The blind spots are on all sides of a semi-truck, with the largest being on the right side. Do your best to stay out of these blind spots when traveling near a big rig. If you linger in a blind spot, you greatly increase your chances of being hit or shoved under the trailer in the event that the truck makes a sudden movement into your lane.
- Pass on the left only: As mentioned, the biggest blind spot on a semi-truck is the right side. This blind spot is usually big enough to encompass three vehicles and cover at least two lanes. When you need to pass a commercial truck, pass on the left. This decision will move your vehicle through a much smaller blind spot, so you will be in less danger than if you were trying to pass on the right.
- Make eye contact: A good rule to remember is that a truck driver cannot see your vehicle if they cannot see you. When you first approach a big rig or want to pass one, try to make eye contact with the truck driver in one of the side mirrors. This visual acknowledgment makes your car “real” in the mind of the truck driver, so you should be much more difficult to forget about when they need to turn, merge, or change lanes.
- Avoid late-night driving: Leaving a holiday party can sometimes mean heading home late in the night. At such hours, driving near commercial trucks can be the most dangerous because you will be tired and so will the truck drivers. See if you can plan your holiday events to avoid late-night driving if you are going to head home using a major highway that is likely to be used by shipping companies.
- Be patient: When there are several big rigs on the road ahead of you, finding a way around them that also prioritizes your safety might be next to impossible. Rather than attempting a driving maneuver that puts everyone at a higher risk of a truck accident, be patient and wait for a safe opportunity to pass. It is common for trucks to move into dedicated truck lanes or the right side of the highway, so there should be a chance to pull away from a cluster of big rigs sooner than later.
GET LEGAL HELP AFTER A CRASH
You can drive as safely as you can manage and still be caught in a bad truck accident due to a truck driver’s negligence. If this happens to you this holiday season—or any other time of year—then you should seek legal assistance as soon as you can. Trucking companies and their insurers have powerful teams of defense attorneys who do nothing all day but try to stop claimants from getting compensation. To stop them from steamrolling your claim entirely, you can hire a lawyer of your own to challenge them.
If you live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC can help manage your truck accident claim. Do not hesitate to call us at 918-492-7674">918-492-7674 after a crash caused by a negligent, exhausted, or intoxicated truck driver. You can also fill out an online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation with our lawyers.