Safe Pennsylvania Driver Tips: Truck Blind Spots and Passing on the Right

Scartelli Olszewski P.C.

Large Truck Accidents on the Rise

According to a recent Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration study on trucking accidents , drivers of large trucks are ten times more likely to be the cause of a truck accident than any other factor. Stated another way, a truck driver’s action or inaction while driving causes more accidents than weather, road conditions, or vehicle performance! For the Pennsylvania driver, a review of some basic tips specific to driving alongside a large truck or 18-wheeler can prevent a catastrophic trucking accident. If you are unfortunate enough to be a part of a trucking accident, we have included some tips as well, the first being to contact an experienced, personal injury lawyer.

Large Truck Blind Spots

You most likely learned about blind spots when you first started driving. The State of Pennsylvania driving manual defines a blind spot as: “any place around a vehicle a driver cannot see without moving his/her head.” As an experienced driver you know that you cannot see cars when they enter your “blind spots” on the right or the left. The same is true for commercial truck drivers, except that the blind spots are bigger and there are more of them. Blind spots, also known as “no-zones,” are such a source of concern for truck drivers that they take special training courses to avoid an accident because of them. This training requires truck drivers to be aware of the drivers around them who are in their blind spots and to take the proper precautions to avoid an accident. Trucks, such as 18-wheelers, have large blind spots to the right and rear of the vehicle as well as smaller blind spots on the right front corner and mid-left side of the truck. Here are a few quick tips to avoid a truck accident involving a blind spot.Remember:If you can see the truck driver’s face in his side mirrors, he can see you. Stay out of a truck driver’s blind spots . If you find yourself in a blind spot keep moving!

The Right Turn Squeeze

In addition to avoiding a large truck’s blind spots, another maneuver to avoid is the right -turn squeeze. The right turn squeeze occurs when when a large truck is making a right hand turn and a car driver tries to pass on the right and turn at the same time. This dangerous maneuver is never a good idea and has been the cause of many crashes.When a large truck is making a right hand turn the best advice is to give him or her enough room to make that turn. As you have already noticed in your driving experience, large trucks make enormous swings to make a turn. The reason the swing is so large is because the driver cannot see and wants to avoid hitting anything that might be in his way – a stop sign, traffic light, another car or a pedestrian. Take heed when you see a large truck’s light blinking to turn. Stay as far back as you can to wait out the turn. If You Are Involved in a Large Truck Accident.If you are involved in a trucking accident in Pennsylvania the first step is to remain calm as with any automobile accident. In a large truck accident in particular, you should know that there are many complex state and federal regulations that are applicable. For example, the truck driver, the truck company, and the truck maker are all represented by different entities. Each of these entities has rules and regulations as well as their own legal representation.The determination of fault in a trucking accident is no longer determined through police reports and witness statements alone but through the use of complicated technologies such as black boxes and other high tech devices as well as information gleaned from federal agencies. Therefore, if you are involved in a trucking accident, you will need to find an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows the issues in order to best protect your interests. For additional step-by-step tips for what to do if you are involved in a trucking accident in Pennsylvania, check out our FAQ’s on Trucking Accidents.