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3 tips to avoid a truck crash

During the summer months, a lot of Los Angeles families take a road trip. You might be driving across country or just taking a weekend get-a-away, but no matter where you go, you will likely encounter a lot of semi-trucks on the roadway. Semi-trucks are big and heavy, and if you get into an accident with one, your smaller car will not be any match. In order to avoid a catastrophic truck crash, the best thing to do is to be careful and drive safely around big rigs. Outside of that, there are three specific things the Department of Transportation recommends you avoid.

First, never cut in front of a big rig. Your car is light, nimble and it can stop very rapidly in comparison to a big rig. A fully-loaded semi-truck could take as much as 100 yards to stop completely. That means you need to give these big trucks a lot of room to maneuver. You cannot pull in front of them and expect them to be able to slow down quickly.

Second, do not tailgate behind a semi-truck. Yes, these lumbering giants are often slow movers and you might get impatient if you get stuck behind one. Tailgating, though, is not going to help you get from A to B any faster, and it is just plain dangerous. For example, road debris might get kicked up by the truck's massive tires, or a piece of the truck's tire might come off and hit your windshield. Furthermore, the truck driver might not see you as you get close behind it and move into the truck's blind spot.

Third, and finally, avoid the semi-truck's "No Zone." This is the blind spot of a big truck, which is the area that the truck driver's mirrors cannot see. The way you can tell if you are in the truck's blind spot is to look at the truck driver's side mirrors and check if you can see his face. If you cannot see his face, then he cannot see yours and that is a very big problem.

According to 2012 statistics, approximately 4,000 people were killed in truck crashes. Los Angeles residents who are hurt and the family members of those who are killed in truck crashes caused by another driver's negligence may have strong claims for restitution in court.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, "Summer vacation driving plans? Play it safe near large trucks," Anne Ferro, accessed May. 28, 2015

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