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Tips to avoid becoming a truck accident statistic

Many San Diego drivers would likely admit to feeling somewhat nervous while navigating near or around large commercial trucks. The sheer size and weight of these vehicles is imposing and drivers of smaller cars and other personal vehicles may unknowingly make driving errors that put them and their passengers at an increased risk of being involved in a truck accident and suffering serious or even fatal injuries.

While it's impossible to control the actions of a truck driver, there are steps drivers can take to reduce the likelihood of being involved in a truck accident.

Prior to making any lane changes, drivers are always advised to check their blind spots. For truck drivers, there are essentially four major blind spots around a large commercial truck which include directly behind and in front of a truck, immediately to the left side of a truck driver's door and essentially along the entire right-hand side of a commercial truck. As a general rule, drivers would be wise to avoid traveling in these blind spots and remember that if they can't see a truck driver's mirrors, they are not visible to the truck driver.

A truck driver's blind spots also come into play when it comes to passing a commercial truck. As mentioned, the entire right-hand side of a commercial truck is a blind spot. Therefore, to ensure one's vehicle remains visible to a truck driver, it's important to only pass a commercial truck on the left-hand side. Attempting to pass a truck on the right could have tragic results if, at the same time, a truck driver decides to move into the right lane.

Visibility is also a major concern in cases where a driver follows too closely behind a large commercial truck. The area directly behind a commercial truck is not visible to the truck driver.Additionally, a driver who is essentially tailgating a commercial truck cannot see around the truck and would therefore not be able to respond accordingly if the truck started to slow down or experienced maintenance problems. 

Like truck drivers, drivers of cars and other personal vehicles also have a responsibility to obey traffic rules and employ safe driving practices while sharing the road with all other drivers.

Source: State of Connecticut, "Passenger car drivers: Share the road safely with large trucks," 2015

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