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Why special rules apply when sharing the road with large trucks

While any motor vehicle accident has the potential to result in those drivers and passengers involved suffering serious and debilitating injuries, such injuries are much more likely in accidents involving large commercial trucks. It's important, therefore, that drivers of smaller personal vehicles understand how to safely share the road with large trucks.

For example, due to the height of a truck's cab and length of a tractor trailer, a truck driver has blind spots on all four sides. This means that a car that is following too closely behind or on either side of a truck is not visible. For the driver of a car, the right passenger side of a commercial truck is an especially dangerous place to pass or travel in for an extended period of time.

In addition to large blind spots, it's also important to understand that it takes much longer to slow or stop a large commercial truck. For these reasons, drivers should never pass and then directly cut in front of a truck or brake at the last minute if a truck is trailing. Likewise, drivers who are following a truck are advised to do so at a safe distance. Following too closely means that a car is in a truck driver's blind spot and also means that the driver of a car cannot see around and in front of a truck.

Other safety tips for sharing the road with large commercial trucks include being courteous and allowing a truck to pass, signal all lanes changes and allow a truck to merge onto or exit the highway. Additionally, if stopped at an intersection with a truck, it’s important to provide ample room as a truck requires more space to make turns and could inadvertently end up hitting or squeezing out a car.

Source: CT.gov, "Passenger car drivers: Share the road safely with large trucks," Oct. 9, 2015

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