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Driving Safely Near Trucks and Buses

How You Can Stay Safe Around Large Commercial Vehicles

Large buses and trucks have certain operating limitations such as long stopping distances, large blind spots, and limited maneuverability. These limitations make it essential for the drivers of other vehicles to place extra focus on safety. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to avoid causing or experiencing problems involving these commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).

Stay Out of the Blind Spots

Large trucks and buses have enormous blind spots-or what commercial drivers call “no zones,” around the sides, front, and back of the vehicle. A good rule to remember is “If you can’t see the driver in the vehicle’s side mirror, assume that the driver cannot see you.”

Never drive in a blind spot, either slow down or move ahead in order to stay visible. Be especially careful when merging near a large, commercial vehicle. There is a good chance you’re in a blind spot.

Always Pass Safely

Confirm that you can see the driver in the mirror before attempting to pass. Signal clearly, then move into the left lane, accelerating so you can pass the bus or truck promptly and safely. Never linger in the blind spot. Double check that the truck or bus is clearly visible in your rearview mirror. It is always better to allow extra space before pulling back into the lane.

Avoid passing commercial vehicles on a downgrade where they automatically pick up speed. Don’t ever pass on the right. When a truck or bus is passing your vehicle, stay to the right and slow down slightly. The idea here is to give the driver plenty of room to pass safely so you are in the blind spot for as short a time as possible. Always give these vehicles plenty of space to merge in front of you.

Never Cut it Close

Cutting in front of any vehicle without allowing enough space is always dangerous. However, it is especially dangerous to “cut off” a large, commercial vehicle. Moving in quickly from either side means you were likely in the vehicle’s blind spot, so the driver may not see you in time. Additionally, buses and trucks need more time to stop, so the driver may not be able to slow quickly enough to avoid an accident even if he or she does see you.

Stay Back

Never tailgate a bus or truck. This position puts you in their blind spot, and because trucks are so high off the ground, your vehicle could slide under the truck if you are unable to stop in time (or get hit from behind).

Stopping too close to a large truck is also dangerous, especially on an upgrade where the vehicle might roll backwards.

Anticipate Wide Turns

Trucks and buses require lots of space to turn. They swing wide, and on occasion, need to initiate a turn from the middle lane rather than the right lane. When a commercial vehicle has its turns signal on, never try to squeeze by. When stopping at an intersection, never stop in front of the line, or block the area that a bus or truck needs to complete a safe turn.

When to Contact a Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer

Even when you follow the rules of the road, and pay extra attention to large vehicles, it is still possible to become involved in an accident. If you or someone close to you has been involved in a truck accident that resulted in injury, you may want to contact an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer.

Our expert legal team at Shea Law Group has handled countless claims involving trucks and we know what it takes to achieve a positive outcome. Give us a call at (877)-365-0040 to book your free, no-obligation consultation today.