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How can you avoid accidents with big trucks?

Trucks play a vital role in our nation's economic commerce, as they ferry food and supplies from coast to coast and from our northernmost to our southern boundaries, but sharing the road with these big rigs can sometimes be fraught with danger.

How much do you know about riding safely along with large trucks? Read on to learn more.

Remember that when you are unable to see the side mirrors on a truck, the trucker can't see you either. Always position your vehicle where you're sure to be seen by truck drivers. Be mindful of the multiple blind spots on these big rigs and stay out of the "no zone."

Do you realize that when you are cruising down the highway at posted speed limits, it may take as long as 30 seconds to pass a large truck safely? Give yourself plenty of room and pass them quickly so that you aren't lingering long in a blind spot. Only change back into the right lane when you are able to see the grill or headlights of the truck in your vehicle's rear view mirror.

Trucks also have a blind spot directly behind them, so allow yourself a four second clearance between your front bumper and the rear of the truck. You can easily compute the distance by choosing a stationary figure like a building or telephone pole and when the truck passes it, begin counting, "one thousand one, one thousand two, etc." As the front bumper of your vehicle reaches the object, your counting should be at "one thousand four" if you are far enough back.

Remember that trucks swing wide making right turns at intersections, so never attempt to pass a truck that's turning.

When an inevitable accident does occur, make sure that you protect your rights to compensation by timely filing a claim for damages with the trucker's insurance company.

Source: AAA, "Sharing the Road," accessed July 08, 2016

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