How to Avoid Truck Accidents\r\n\r\n\r\nPreventing a truck accident is always better than dealing with the aftermath of one. In 2017, 34 Floridians died\u00a0in heavy truck accidents. Most, if not all, truck accidents in Florida are preventable.\r\n\r\nThey arise out of negligence \u2013 often on the part of the trucker, the trucking company, a roadway maintenance crew, or a part manufacturer. As a driver, you can\u2019t always avoid driving next to big rigs. You may, however, be able to avoid truck accidents with a few best practices behind the wheel. Next time you hit the highway, keep these accident prevention tips in mind.\r\nLeave Plenty of Room\r\nLarge trucks cannot brake or maneuver as quickly as smaller passenger vehicles since 18-wheelers average around 16 times the weight of a passenger car. Large trucks use completely different braking systems than passenger vehicles \u2013 compressed air instead of hydraulic braking.\r\n\r\nAir brakes are reliable, but there is a delay between when the driver presses the pedal and when the truck begins to stop. This lag time can be deadly if there are vehicles driving too close to the truck, or if another driver abruptly cuts off a large truck. Always leave ample room in front, behind, and to the sides of your car when driving next to big rigs.\r\nDon't Drive in The "No-Zone"\r\n\r\n\r\nTruck drivers must deal with enormous blind spots when operating tractor-trailers. The length of the trailer makes it impossible to see certain areas of the roadway surrounding the vehicle. These areas are \u201cno-zones,\u201d meaning zones other drivers should never stay within.\r\n\r\nBigger blind spots mean a higher risk of collisions while the truck tries to switch lanes or merge. Lower the odds of getting into an accident by staying out of the truck driver\u2019s no-zone. A good rule of thumb \u2013 if you can\u2019t see the driver in his or her side mirrors, the driver can\u2019t see you. Quickly pass through the no-zone, never staying there longer than is necessary.\r\nPass on The Outer Edge of The Road\r\nThe immense size of large trucks creates wind and air pressure to its sides that can affect smaller passenger vehicles. You might have noticed this in the past when passing big rigs.\r\n\r\nTo avoid the air pressure moving your car and causing an accident, pass trucks as far to the left-hand side of the road as possible.\r\n\r\nKeep a steady speed and quickly maneuver out of the trucker\u2019s blind spots. Be extra careful when you pass, never cutting in front of a truck and then hitting your brakes. Give trucks more space when passing than you would normally give other vehicles to help you avoid a truck accident.\r\nMove Over For Stopped Truckers\r\nTruck drivers must stop on the sides of the road when they experience tire blowouts, load shifts, breakdowns, or other problems. The driver should set up orange traffic cones, triangles, or flares in these cases.\r\n\r\nIf you see a truck stopped on the side of the road, move over at least one lane if possible to keep the vulnerable driver safe. This helps you and the driver avoid a truck accident. If you cannot switch lanes, reduce your speed and drive carefully near the truck, always watching for the driver, who could be outside of the vehicle.\r\nAnticipate Wide Turns\r\n\r\n\r\nOn Florida\u2019s smaller roadways, look out for the extra-wide turns tractor-trailers have to take. The truck may swing left to make a right turn, and vice versa.\r\n\r\nLeave trucks plenty of space to make wide turns, to avoid getting trapped between the truck and the curb, or striking the truck as it swings outward.\r\n\r\nAnticipate turns at intersections, and slow your speed if you see a truck with its blinker on. The truck will likely need to take up multiple lanes to execute the turn. Never pass a truck on the same side it\u2019s turning, and avoid following too closely otherwise you may be at risk of a truck accident.\r\nBe Predictable\r\nTruck accidents happen when other drivers drive erratically, speed, weave through traffic, fail to use turn signals, and otherwise practice unsafe and unpredictable driving habits.\r\n\r\nThe best thing you can do for yourself around big trucks is to stay predictable.\r\n\r\nObey traffic rules and speed limits, turn your blinkers on far in advance of a turn, brake slowly and evenly, and help the truck driver out as much as you can. It may be tempting to cut a trucker off or try to speed up to pass, but these actions can snowball into a wreck.\r\n\r\nThe more predictable you are to truckers around you, the less likely you are to become an\u00a0accident victim having to pursue legal actions.\r\nAlways Pay Attention to The Road\r\nDriver distraction and inattention are killers on Florida\u2019s roadways.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nDriving distracted, under the influence, or drowsy are especially dangerous when you\u2019re around big rigs. Always pay close attention to the road. Keep your hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road and your mind on the driving task.\r\n\r\nPicking up your phone to read or send a text message for just five seconds is the equivalent of\u00a0driving the length of a football field\u00a0with your eyes closed. Put your phone away when driving, and eliminate other distractions to avoid truck accidents.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nIn many cases, you can avoid Florida trucking accidents. Stay alert and practice defensive driving to keep yourself and your passengers safe around large trucks. Use these tips to help you arrive safe and sound.\r\n\r\nTo learn more about truck accidents, read our Comprehensive Guide for Truck Accident Victims or to learn more about the different types of truck accident cases we cover, read our comprehensive list of truck accident cases in Florida.