How to Drive Safely Around Large Vehicles

December 19th, 2019 by Attorney John Colvin

driving near big trucks

Driving near a large vehicle can cause a sudden rush of anxiety—and with good reason, large vehicles have the potential to be extremely dangerous. According to data provided by the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, more than 140 people were killed in large vehicle accidents in the state in 2017 alone. Many hundreds more were severely or catastrophically injured. All drivers should know how to safely operate their vehicle around trucks and buses. Here, our Tennessee truck accident attorney offers some useful tips for driving around large vehicles. 

Five Tips for Driving Around Commercial Trucks and Large Buses

Give Large Vehicles Plenty of Space

As a starting point, it is crucial that all drivers give large vehicles more than enough space to operate. Tailgating is also dangerous, even more so when following a truck or a bus. If you are following too closely behind a large vehicle, it is almost impossible to see anything beyond its rear bumper. Leave extra space. 

Avoid the ‘No’ Zones

Every vehicle has blind spots. The larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spots. As a general rule, you want to be more than 30 feet behind any large truck or bus at all times. If you are going fast, you need to leave much more space than that. Further, it is best to avoid the area directly to the left or the right of a large vehicle. If you think you are in a blindspot, slow down or speed up to get back into the driver’s field of vision. While truck drivers and bus drivers should understand their blind spots, they sometimes make mistakes. 

Be Careful When Passing

Passing a large truck or large bus can be dangerous. You should only pass when it is legal and safe to do so. When passing, clearly signal your intention, move into the left lane, and pass the vehicle promptly. Do not linger in the blind spot of the truck or the bus. Additionally, make sure that you avoid passing if you are going downhill.  

Know that Large Vehicles Make Wide Turns

Tractor-trailers and large buses make wide turns. Of course, these vehicles still have a legal duty to remain in their lane. That being said, driver errors can and do happen. You should never attempt to squeeze by a large truck when it is making a turn. Be patient. Give large vehicles plenty of space to make turns. 

Keep Your Attention On the Road

Finally, all drivers should keep their full and undivided attention on the road. Distracted driving is dangerous driving. One of the best ways to avoid trucking accidents is to know exactly where large vehicles are at all times. When you are aware of large trucks and buses, you can safely operate around them. 

Get Help From a Tennessee Trucking Accident Lawyer Today

At the Law Offices of John Colvin, our Tennessee personal injury attorney has extensive experience handling truck accident and bus accident claims. If you or your family member was hurt in a collision with a large vehicle, we are here to help. To get a free, no-obligation consultation, please contact our law firm today. With an office in Winchester, we serve communities in Franklin County and throughout Southeastern Tennessee.

Licensed to Practice in Tennessee & Alabama