We live along one of the busiest routes for tractor trailer traffic in the nation. As a connector for the Northeast to the rest of the country we share our roads with many tractor trailers which can cause congestion and safety concerns. Among these safety concerns when you’re sharing the road with these trucks is getting into a New Haven commercial vehicle accident and becoming injured. These accidents can often be more severe then accidents involving passenger vehicles and can they can be complex to sort out when the dust settles.
There are many important rules that you should follow when you’re sharing the road with these giant vehicles including following with a safe distance between you and the truck and not slowing down when you switch lanes in front of the truck. Following these rules will give you a better chance of staying safe when you’re sharing the road with vehicles that are much larger then yours and can cause significant damage if you are involved in an accident with them.
One other thing that you should consider when sharing the roads with these vehicles is whether or not you should pass them. The decision to pass a tractor trailer truck or other commercial vehicle while you are driving can be a risky proposition and if you do not have the knowledge and tools to do this safely it can put you at great risk. It is important to not only know if/when to pass the vehicles, but also what steps you should take to keep yourself and the driver of the commercial vehicle safe when you are planning on passing the vehicle. What steps should you take to make sure that the safety of all drivers is taken into account when you are trying to pass?
1.) Always pass a truck or large commercial vehicle on the left. If you chose to pass on the right the blind spots for drivers of these vehicles become infinitely more dangerous and can lead to them changing lanes without seeing you which could ride you right off the side of the road. Passing on the left, while not perfectly safe, is significantly safer then passing on the right and if you are facing the option of passing one of these vehicles you should always do it on the left.
2.) Do your best to make a good judgement about the amount of space you have between you and the vehicle you are planning to pass. It is recommended that you have at least 4 seconds of space between you and the vehicle so you can pass safely and without incident. If you have anything less than 4 seconds of space you could be putting yourself at risk of injury or death.
3.) Use your turn signal and put it on as soon as you decide to change lanes and pass the truck or commercial vehicle so they have ample notice before you start to ride up alongside them. The response time for a driver of one of these vehicles may be quick, but the vehicles themselves do not always respond quickly and if you don’t give the driver ample warning that you’re planning on passing her/him the decision may have been made to switch lanes and if your signal is not seen early enough it may leave you at risk.
4.) Pass quickly. While we certainly do not advocate traveling at an excessive speed you do not want to spend an extended amount of time with the truck or commercial vehicle on your right, this could be dangerous. You will want to pass as quickly as you can and then when it is safe to do so return to the right lane with enough space between you and the larger vehicle.
Sharing the road with large commercial vehicles can be dangerous, but it is a necessary thing, especially on our roads. If you can take small steps that will keep you visible to the driver’s of these vehicles you may be able to avoid a New Haven commercial vehicle accident and keep yourself and passengers free from injury or harm. Accidents involving these vehicles can be quite serious and cause significant injury and property damage, therefore they should be avoided at all costs.
If you do find yourself injured as the result of an accident on one of our area roads you may want to contact one of our experienced attorneys. Contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will review your situation and work with you to protect your long-term interests.