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How can I safely share the road with trucks?

As you navigate California’s many roads and highways, you’re likely to encounter trucks and other large vehicles. Sharing the road can be difficult, especially if you are unaware of the differences between sizable trucks and smaller passenger vehicles. While you can’t always prevent crashes from occurring, there are steps you can take to decrease the risk of serious injury in the event of a truck accident.

The State of California Department of Motor Vehicles urges drivers to be aware of the many no-zones or blind spots that surround trucks. These are the areas where a trucker’s visibility is greatly inhibited, which can lead to collisions if a truck maneuvers suddenly when another vehicle is traveling in the blind spot. You can determine whether your car is visible by your ability to see the trucker in either side mirror. If not, the trucker will not be able to see your vehicle and its position on the road.   

You should also be aware of how to safely maneuver around trucks when sharing the road. A truck’s braking ability is hampered by its size, which means it will take much longer for a truck to come to a complete stop. To this end, it’s best to afford trucks a lot of room on the highway so they can make the proper maneuver if faced with an unexpected hazard. You should also keep good amount of space between your vehicle and any trucks that are in front of you so that you can react accordingly.

Should you encounter a truck that’s preparing to make a turn, it’s recommended that you give the vehicle room to maximize safety. Truckers often have to make wide turns to adequately maneuver their vehicles, which can be confusing for drivers if a truck appears to be making a turn in the opposite direction. In this case, pay close attention to the truck’s turn signals to determine where it’s actually going. 

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