Most of us drivers are what is referred to as “passenger vehicle drivers.” Most of us have similar experiences as drivers on the road as far as vision and maneuverability goes. Because of our collective experience and lack of experience, we passenger vehicle drivers forget about CMVs- commercial motor vehicles. (CMV) drivers have a much different driving experience. They have large blind spots, long stopping distances, and limited maneuverability. Because of the challenges CMV drivers face, all of us, passenger vehicle drivers, need to do our part to drive as safely as possible and keep the roadways safer for everyone.
Avoid the No Zones
Large buses and trucks have huge blind spots on all four sides. If you can’t see the CMV driver in their side mirror, assume the driver can’t see you. Never drive in a blind spot. Either slow down or move ahead and stay visible. Always take caution when merging.
First, make sure you can see the driver in their mirror. Turn your signal on, then move into the left lane and accelerate to get past the CMV promptly and safely. Once you’ve passed, check your review mirror to make sure the CMV is visible. Once you have several car lengths of clearance, you can merge back into the right lane. Never pass a truck or bus on downgrades, and never pass on the right lane.
Give them Space
You never want to “cut off” a commercial truck or bus. If you cut in quickly, you’ll likely be in a blind spot. Even if they can see you, the vehicle may not be able to slow down fast enough to avoid a crash. Buses and large trucks can take 40% longer to stop.
Never tailgate a truck or bus. Tailgating puts you in a blind spot. Because CMVs like trucks are high off the ground, your vehicle could slide or get pushed under a truck in an accident. Increase your follow distance on hills or upgrades. Trucks and buses may roll back when accelerating from a stopped position on an upgrade.
Expect Wide Turns
Commercial motor vehicles need extra turning room. Because they’re so long, they swing wide and need to turn from a middle or outer lane to avoid hitting the curb or sidewalk. Never try to squeeze by or get between a turning CMV and the curb.
Buses and trucks need time to get moving and use technology that limits their speed. There’s no need to honk, drive aggressively, or weave through traffic. The best recipe for safety is patience.
Wear Your Seat Belt
Using your safety belt may save your life – and it’s easy to do. Make sure young children always ride in the back seat and use car seats.
If you need to do anything except focus on the road, pull off and stop. Driving distracted is the number one cause of accidents. It’s just as dangerous as driving impaired.
Don’t Drive if You’re Tired
Take regular breaks if you’re on a long road trip. Get another driver to take over. There are plenty of rest stops to take advantage of and catch a power nap if needed.
Never Drive Under the Influence
Alcohol and other drugs impair judgment and reaction time. There isn’t a safe limit for drinking before getting behind the wheel. Prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs can have the same effects. If your medication has a warning, get someone else to drive or use another form of transportation.
Arkansas Truck Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured or have had a loved one die in a vehicle accident, you may be able to get legal compensation for your loss or injury. Contact the Daniels Law Firm today, tell us your story, and we’ll get to work to get you the compensation you deserve, and get you back on your feet. Handling truck wreck cases are not the same as accidents between passenger cars. They require immediate attention to preserve evidence, get experts involved in securing the recorded data from the commercial vehicle data event recorder ( black box ) and document the scene and damage. Be safe on the highways, but if you’re in a wreck with a commercial motor vehicle, give us a call and let us get to work, working for you.
CALL (479) 521-7000