It’s only natural to be a little nervous when you’re driving near a large commercial truck on one of Montana’s highways — particularly in the winter months when the roads can be slick. Many of the over 250,000 annual crashes involving a car and a large truck can be avoided. Car drivers can do their part by knowing how to safely share the road with trucks.
First, drivers need to remember that large trucks need extra room to make turns and to stop. It’s also essential to remember that their blind spots are larger than those of cars and other smaller vehicles. These blind spots (or “no zones”) are its right front quarter, left rear quarter and immediately behind it.
Passing can be particularly dangerous, regardless of which vehicle is passing the other. If you see that a truck driver is trying to pass you, slow down slightly to make it easier for them. Don’t try to race them or speed up to get ahead of them.
If you need to pass a truck, your main concern is that the truck driver can see you. Therefore, always pass on the left. Make sure that there’s plenty of room between you and the truck before you move into its lane in front of it. You should be able to clearly see the cab in your rearview mirror.
Following are some things you should never do near a truck:
- Get behind it when it’s backing up.
- Use your bright headlights.
- Follow too closely.
Even if you exercise extreme caution while sharing the road with a truck and give it plenty of room, there’s no guarantee that the driver won’t do something reckless or that the truck won’t malfunction. A car vs. truck accident typically causes more severe injuries for the car driver than the truck driver.
If you’re dealing with high medical bills and other short-term and long-term complications and expenses, it’s essential to determine which individuals and entities (such as the truck manufacturer or the company that owns it) can and should be held liable. An experienced attorney can help you do this.