Essential Tips for Sharing the Road With Trucks in Long Island

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semi-truck speeding in upstate New York

Unlike other places in the New York City metro area, driving tends to be the most reliable method of transportation on Long Island. At the same time, due to the number of drivers passing through the region each day, roads can become congested and even hazardous, and large commercial trucks only exacerbate the issue. If you live on Long Island or frequently pass through the area, then it’s vital to familiarize yourself with how to safely share the road with big rigs.

If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident on Long Island, then you could be entitled to collect compensation for medical expenses, lost earnings, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. Contact the truck accident attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

Safety Tips When Driving Around Large Trucks

It’s important to exercise extra caution when driving around large commercial trucks.

Follow these tips to protect yourself and your passengers when you’re navigating Long Island roads:

  • Practice defensive driving – Always be on the lookout for large trucks and be on your guard anytime you are driving near one. Remain vigilant and be prepared to react if the truck driver makes any sudden or unexpected moves. If you can, do your best to avoid driving near large trucks.
  • Pass carefully – Be especially cautious when you are attempting to pass a large truck. Trucks have much larger blind spots than your average passenger vehicle and may not notice you as they make a lane change. Try to pass the truck quickly so you don’t get stuck in a truck driver’s blind spot for an extended period of time.
  • Follow at a safe distance – Truck drivers require more time to slow or stop their vehicles and may find it difficult to react quickly if a road hazard suddenly appears. That’s why you should follow large trucks at a safe distance, leaving four to five seconds of space between your vehicle and the truck in front of you. If you are driving right behind a large commercial truck, the driver almost certainly will not be able to see you.
  • Use your turn signals – Make sure you use your turn signals anytime you are driving around large commercial trucks. Ensure that the truck driver knows what your intentions are before you change lanes, merge onto an interstate, exit the highway, or pass the truck.
  • Dim your brights – Anytime you are driving around a large truck at nighttime, make sure that you turn off your brights until you are no longer driving in the truck’s vicinity. If you use your brights near a truck, you could make it difficult for the truck driver to see. For instance, if your brights are on as you attempt to pass a truck, your lights will reflect in the driver’s mirrors, temporarily “blinding” them, which could lead to an accident.
  • Watch for wide turns – Commercial trucks and tractor-trailers require more space to make turns than passenger vehicles do. For instance, if a truck driver is turning left through an intersection, the driver may need to begin the turn from the middle lane of traffic in order to make room for their truck and trailer to turn without hitting any vehicles at the stoplight. Truck drivers simply require more space to maneuver their vehicles than ordinary motorists do, so be sure to leave as much space as you can for truck drivers to complete wide turns.
  • Use a seat belt – While you should use your seat belt anytime you get on the road, it is especially important to ensure that you are wearing your seat belt if you are driving near a large truck, in case of an accident. Truck crashes are some of the most severe traffic-related accidents, and motorists are particularly vulnerable to injury given the size and weight of large trucks.
  • Remain focused – Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents in the country. Distracted driving habits – such as texting, talking on the phone, eating and drinking, personal grooming, using a GPS, adjusting the radio, and more – can lead to devastating accidents. When navigating around large trucks, do your best to remain focused exclusively on driving so you can better gauge the actions of nearby truck drivers and respond appropriately.
  • Don’t drive while fatigued – Ensure that you are well-rested and alert before getting behind the wheel. Drowsy driving is especially dangerous when you are driving around large trucks. Fatigue makes it harder for you to focus on driving and may cause you to react more slowly to road hazards.
  • Don’t drink and drive – Drinking and driving reduces your ability to concentrate, impairs your judgment, and causes delayed reactions. Drinking and driving around large trucks can result in deadly accidents.

Contact a Long Island Truck Accident Lawyer Today

If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident, then you could qualify to pursue compensation for expenses related to your injuries and more. Truck accidents can be particularly challenging to investigate, and liability may not always be straightforward, as there could be multiple liable parties. That’s why it is critical to work with an experienced Long Island truck accident attorney at Finz & Finz, P.C.

Our team has the knowledge and resources to investigate the accident, gather evidence to support your claim, document and calculate expenses you have incurred, identify the liable party or parties, craft a winning legal strategy on your behalf, and aggressively pursue the compensation you need to recover. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.