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Four mistakes to avoid when sharing the road with trucks

If you get a little nervous when you notice a big rig in the next lane, you are not alone. Large trucks present some specific risks for passenger vehicles near them due to their large size, extensive blind spots and lack of maneuverability.

Avoiding these common mistakes can help you avoid a potential accident with a large truck. This is especially important as, once an accident is in motion, the truck's size and mass are likely to increase the seriousness and extent of any damage.

1. Staying too close to a truck

When you drive behind a truck, be sure to keep an appropriate distance. You should be able to see the truck driver's side mirrors; if you cannot, the driver cannot see you either and does not know you are behind him. When you follow too closely, the truck cuts off your view of the lane ahead. If the truck stops or slows suddenly, you risk sliding underneath it.

2. Traveling next to a truck

Avoid traveling next to a truck for an extended time. Pass on the left and move ahead, leaving a reasonable distance and keeping in mind that a truck takes longer to stop than a passenger vehicle. Continuing to travel alongside a truck risks putting you in a blind spot, which can cause an accident if the truck needs to turn, avoid an obstacle in the road or take another type of action.

3. Cutting in front of a truck

Cutting off another vehicle is generally a bad idea; when it comes to trucks, it can prove catastrophic. Slow down and wait for the truck to pass first.

4. Underestimating a truck's speed

Drivers sometimes fail to realize how fast an approaching truck moves. Because of the truck's size, it can look as though it is traveling slower than in reality. Staying aware of approaching trucks can help you react appropriately in time.

While taking precautions can make you safer, it cannot guarantee other drivers on the road will not cause an accident. If you are the victim of a truck accident, an experienced attorney may help you file a suit to get compensation for your injuries and property damage.

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