10 Rules for Safe Driving Near 18 Wheelers in San Antonio
Due to the increased size and dimensions of a commercial 18-wheeler, extra safety precautions can and should be taken by those who share the road with these vehicles. The more knowledge and preparation you equip yourself with, the better prepared you will be to avoid the hazards that big rigs pose on the road. If you live in San Antonio and often find yourself in close proximity to these commercial trucks on San Antonio’s ever-expanding roadways, adhering to the 10 rules for safe driving near 18-wheelers in San Antonio could mean the difference between a dangerous collision and a simple lane maneuver.10 Rules for Safe Driving Near 18-Wheelers in San Antonio
At Carabin & Shaw, our attorneys retroactively defend and protect those who have been injured or incurred damages in a vehicle wreck involving commercial trucks. But as a matter of general caution, there are some basic rules that motorists should always keep in mind as preventative measures when sharing the roads with these trucks:
- Do not travel too close on any side to an 18-wheeler. Commercial trucks require a much larger buffer zone in order to operate safely and successfully with the flow of traffic. Generally, the presumed following distance between smaller vehicles is at least 3 seconds, but as a rule of thumb, the average motorist should always maintain more than double that between them and a large truck.
- Steer clear of the truck’s blind spots. Despite constant improvements in visibility technology and effective rearview mirror placement, the large dimensions of a commercial truck are beset on all sides with areas of weak visibility. If you do find yourself in a situation where you must pass a commercial truck, do so quickly and carefully.
- Whenever possible, avoid lane switches and passing on the right side of a commercial truck. Besides the omnipresent concern of blind spots, drivers of these large trucks are not expecting other drivers to perform a negligent or careless move on the right side of their vehicle. The generally accepted practice is to instead use the left-hand lane for a maneuver like this (see below).
- Always pass on the left side of an 18-wheeler. If you can, always try to keep the right lane free, and use the left-hand lane for passing a commercial truck. Keep your movement consistent and execute the move as quickly and carefully as possible.
- Avoid passing a truck and then merging back into the lane ahead of it while slowing down. After an aggressive pass and subsequent slow down, you become a road hazard, both to the driver of the big rig as well as yourself and your passengers.
- Avoid crowding or blocking big rigs that are attempting to turn. Commercial trucks of this size need a generous amount of added time and space to maneuver even the simplest right or left-handed turn. Crowding them could cause a collision or pile-up, and in these instances, the smaller vehicles are always in the most danger.
- If there is a tractor trailer attached to a commercial truck, maintain an appreciable following distance. When driving behind a truck pulling a trailer, you never know when a mechanical failure related to the trailer could occur, sending debris and cargo flying towards your vehicle. The best practice is to avoid driving behind tractor trailers altogether, but if you must come within range of one, employ a generous following distance at all times.
- If there is inclement weather present, double your following distance from commercial vehicles. Rain, dust, wind, and snow often create a tunnel behind the trucks’ enormous bodies that can reduce visibility and increase the chances of a collision. Inclement weather and subsequent hazardous driving conditions are another opportunity to increase following distance and mitigate the risk of danger.
- Do not make any sudden moves in the periphery of an 18-wheeler. Truck drivers are taught to drive defensively, but they are also operating thousands of pounds of machinery at highway speeds. The less risks other drivers take around these commercial truck drivers, the less chance of a mishap or collision.
- Above all, drive defensively yourself. In all circumstances, the best defense is preparation and caution. When driving a smaller car, it is easy to neglect the added precautions and maneuvers that commercial trucks must take in order to operate safely.
Following these rules can not only help prevent an accident, but also preserve the validity of your claim should an accident occur, and will greatly aid your lawyer’s attempts to assess not only the damage but also the blame.Contact an Attorney from Carabin & Shaw Today
If you or someone you care about has fallen victim to the dangers of driving too close to a commercial truck, you may be entitled to compensation. Educating yourself on the 10 rules for safe driving near 18 wheelers in San Antonio is the first step to handling these incidents swiftly and effectively.
The next step is to summon proper legal guidance. Thankfully, the lawyers at the San Antonio based law firm of Carabin & Shaw have over 20 years of experience litigating all types of personal injury cases. Contact one of our San Antonio truck accident attorneys to learn more about your options moving forward.
If you contact a San Antonio 18-wheeler accident lawyer from Carabin & Shaw today, our team of attorneys serving the San Antonio area will even offer a free consultation for all potential clients. Once we take on your case, we will stop at nothing to ensure that you obtain all due recompense for injuries and damages accrued. Call us today at 210.222.2288 or toll-free at 1.800.682.1260.