Tractor trailers are some of the largest and most dangerous vehicles on the road. You could be seriously injured or killed if a big rig slams into your car on a busy California highway such as the 405.
To prevent serious truck accidents on California freeways, follow the tips below. Have questions about a truck accident? Our personal injury attorneys in Glendale at Ourfalian & Ourfalian can help.
Stay Out Of The Truck’s Blind Spot
Large, commercial trucks have more and larger blind spots than private vehicles. You should stay out of these blind spots as much as possible. They include
- 20 feet in front of the rig
- 30 feet behind the truck
- Two lane widths on the right side of the tractor-trailer
- Driver’s side lane going back about 50% of the trailer’s length
Being a predictable driver is critical to staying safe around large trucks on California freeways. If you drive the way the trucker expects, such as signaling and passing safely, the trucker will be better able to avoid hitting you. Remember, many truck accidents happen because passenger vehicle drivers act unpredictably.
Be Careful When Passing
We should always care when passing other vehicles, but this is even more true with big trucks. Big rigs take much longer to slow down and avoid other vehicles. So you need to give truck drivers more time to slow down. Some critical tips for passing trucks safely include:
- Never pass a tractor-trailer up or down a large hill; the truck may naturally speed up or slow down
- Approach the truck you want to pass on its left side, where it is easier for the driver to see you. Keep the same speed and use turn signals when passing
- Do not cut in front of the trucker when you pass. Instead, wait until you can see the driver in your rearview mirror before signaling and moving over.
Respect Following Distances
Allowing plenty of space behind a commercial truck reduces your visibility. The trucker will need help seeing you. You may not see approaching dangers, such as obstacles in the road or traffic jams.
Also, always leave plenty of room in front of the truck when you pass and move over. Trucks often need up to 90% more space to stop than cars. Many severe accidents happen when car drivers cut off big rigs in California.
Do Not Drive Distracted Around Trucks
Distracted driving, such as with a cell phone, is always hazardous. However, being distracted around a truck can be even more dangerous. Therefore, when near trucks, always pay attention to your driving to stay safe.
Use Care In Bad Weather
Driving is more dangerous when there’s snow, rain, or ice on California highways. Trucks need to slow down when the weather is poor, and they need longer to stop. Therefore, you should use extra care when around trucks in bad weather. One way is to increase your following distances to avoid road spray.
Pull Over Safely
Sometimes we need to pull over on the highway. But you should pull off onto a wide shoulder or rest area and not near traffic. There are many nasty accidents where trucks sideswipe stopped vehicles.
Be Aware Of Truck Turn Signals
If you are driving next to a truck, always be aware that they may not see you. If the trucker turns on their turn signal to move into your lane, slow down to get out of the way. You can also avoid this danger by passing the truck as soon as you can safely.
Watch For Turning Trucks
Drivers should use care to avoid truck accidents in intersections. Trucks usually must swing wide or use several lanes to turn. Other drivers should be aware of this tendency. If a truck intends to turn to the right, you should not try to pass on that side. You also should not follow too closely when the truck turns; the trucker probably cannot see you.
How To Get More For Your Truck Accident Settlement
If you do get in a truck accident, here are some tips to get more for your settlement:
Always Hire A Glendale Personal Injury Lawyer
You never want to go up against a trucker’s insurance company by yourself. You will almost always wind up with less money than if you hire a personal injury attorney. Your attorney also can threaten a lawsuit if the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement.
Collect Accident Evidence Immediately
If you are not seriously hurt after the truck accident, attempt to collect evidence as soon as possible after the crash. Take photos of the accident and your injuries. Note the position of the vehicles on the road before the police move them. Always make sure the police come to the scene after a truck crash.
Let Your Attorney Speak For You
You do not want to talk to the trucker’s insurance company after the accident. Their goal is to get you to say something to hurt your case. When you have been in an accident with a big rig, you should call a Glendale truck accident attorney as soon as possible. If the insurance company tries to call you, simply tell them that you have retained a lawyer, and they will contact them.
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney In Glendale
Whether you are driving in California on Interstate 605 or Interstate 10, you never want to be in an accident with a big truck. You can suffer devastating injuries and property damage when a big rig hits your vehicle.
While many accidents can be avoided with the tips mentioned above, sometimes they cannot. If you are hit by a truck, you will need a Glendale personal injury attorney to fight for your legal rights. The personal injury attorneys at Ourfalian & Ourfalian have the experience and skill to fight for your rights after a truck accident. Please contact our Glendale personal injury attorneys for a complimentary consultation about your truck accident case at (818) 550-7777.