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Top 10 Tips
to Avoid Truck Accidents

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that 5,096 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes for the most recent year data is available.

Some of the most common reasons for bad truck wrecks include:

  • pa - 1
    Truck driver fatigue
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    Distracted driving
  • illegal manuevers
    Illegal maneuvers
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    Mechanical failure
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    Weather conditions
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    Driver impairment
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    Aggressive driving
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    Driving inexperience
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    Following too closely
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    Misjudging the distance
    between vehicles

While you cannot control how truck drivers operate their vehicles,
you can follow these ten truck tips on how to avoid an accident.

10 Tips to Avoid Truck Accidents

Stay safe by following these 10 tips to avoid a truck crash:


Give the truck plenty of space.

Trucks require much more space to turn and come to a complete stop after recognizing a hazard due to their larger size. Additionally, tire blowouts are common, so traveling near a commercial truck can be dangerous if the tire fails right when you are beside the vehicle. It’s vital to give these vehicles plenty of space. Observe these basic rules to avoid an accident with a semi-truck:

  • Leave at least four seconds between you and the commercial truck.
  • Give even more space when the truck is turning. Some trucks may take up two lanes when making a wide turn.
  • Do not pass a truck on the right-hand side because you can get trapped between the curb and the truck.
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Stay out of their blind spots.

Commercial trucks have much larger blind spots than an average passenger vehicle because of their bigger size. Stay out of the following areas:

  • 20 feet in front of the truck
  • 30 feet behind the truck
  • Two lanes wide on the truck’s right side
  • The driver’s side of the vehicle from the driver’s seat to half of the trailer’s length

If you can’t see the truck driver, the driver probably can’t see you.


Pass quickly.

Large trucks cannot stop as quickly as passenger vehicles, so if you need to pass them, you need to do so quickly. Follow these truck tips for safe passing:

  • Only pass on the left.
  • Do not attempt to pass while traveling uphill or downhill.
  • Do not return to the lane in front of the truck until you can clearly see the driver in your rearview mirror.
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Use caution when a truck is turning.

Because trucks make wide turns, your vehicle can get crushed when the truck is turning in front of you. Pay close attention when trucks are turning.


Avoid distractions.

You can more easily avoid a truck crash if you are fully focused on the task of driving. Try to limit all distractions inside and outside the vehicle, such as:

  • Phone calls and alerts from electronic devices
  • Things falling or rolling around your vehicle
  • Signs or scenery outside the window
  • Pets, children, or passengers
  • Food or drink
  • Frustrating thoughts or emotions
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Anticipate weather conditions.

Some particularly bad truck crashes occur during inclement weather when truck drivers lose control of their vehicles. Try to avoid driving during dangerous weather conditions. If this is not possible, increase the distance between you and trucks even further.


Use clear signals.

One of the best ways to avoid an 18-wheeler accident is to use clear signals so the truck driver can anticipate your actions.

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Be careful when pulling over on the highway.

If you have to pull over on the highway, be extremely careful. Keep your time off the road brief. Put up cones or traffic flares, if possible. Activate your hazard lights. Clearly signal and wait until the roadway is clear before merging back on the roadway.


Be careful when merging.

Merging is one of the most dangerous driving maneuvers to do around an 18-wheeler. Truck drivers may not be able to see directly in front of them. Allow extra space if you have to merge in front of a commercial truck.

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Avoid road rage.

Driving can be frustrating, but the last thing you should do is pick a fight with a driver behind a 60,000-pound vehicle. Try to stay calm and take a break from driving if you get agitated.


If you are hurt in a semi-truck accident,
contact the Law Offices of Michael J. Gopin, PLLC.

Disclaimer: Michael Gopin is not licensed in New Mexico. Lee Montion is licensed in New Mexico.
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