It’s a situation that most drivers face time after time. You’re navigating an already challenging route to your destination just to find that you’re surrounded by commercial trucks. While sharing the road is important, it doesn’t necessarily mean that truckers will take the same safe approach.
Here are some of the many things you can do to drive more safely when surrounded by commercial trucks:
- Keep your distance: It’s easier said than done, but try to keep as much space between your vehicle and commercial trucks as you can. This could mean driving up the road ahead or slowing down for a mile or so. Either way, when you keep your distance, you’ll feel better about your safety.
- Don’t engage them: Many commercial truckers are stereotyped to not care about anyone else on the road. They may have a destination in mind and they’ll do whatever it takes to reach it in a timely manner, often due to unreasonable expectations for delivery schedules. And that often means violating the rules of the road and putting your safety and well-being at risk. So, don’t engage them by making eye contact, yelling, cursing or cutting them off.
- Focus on the task at hand: Yes, you must be aware of what commercial truckers are doing, but that doesn’t mean you should focus all your attention on these vehicles. Focus on the task at hand, which is remaining vigilant, following the rules of the road and avoiding distractions.
Should things progress and you begin to feel unsafe, you’re best off pulling to safety. Find a parking lot or move to the shoulder of the road, away from traffic. You can then let the truck get far enough up the road that you don’t have to deal with it. Also, depending on the circumstances, you may consider calling 911 to report the driver.
If you’re injured in a car-truck accident, your health should take priority over everything else. Obtain medical treatment and follow the advice of your doctor. This helps increase the odds of a full recovery.
When time allows, review the police report, contact your car insurance company and devise a plan for taking action to protect your legal rights.