NEW YORK — Buses and trucks provide essential services, but many drivers view them as nuisances on the road; perhaps for good reasons! These vehicular behemoths move relatively slowly, require much more distance to stop, and pose a very real threat to drivers and passengers of smaller cars. A New York bus accident lawyer says it’s not just other drivers who get concerned when these massive vehicles are on the road – bus passengers face very real risks as well.
While we can’t completely avoid trucks and buses in our daily lives, we can do more to ensure we drive safely alongside them.
Driving Safely Alongside Buses and Trucks
Stay Out of Blind Spots
Large buses and trucks have large blind spots on all four sides. These blind spots are often called “no zones” because they are areas next to, behind, or in front of a commercial vehicle you should stay away from. Driving in these areas often instigates truck-on-car collisions because truck drivers simply can’t see what is in these zones.
Be sure to stay away from the truck’s right-hand side and the area immediately behind the truck. Smaller blind spots also exist on the left-hand side and directly in front of the cab. As a general rule, you are in a safe position when you can see the truck or bus driver.
Give Trucks and Buses More Distance
Commercial tractor-trailers and buses require significantly more room to come to a complete stop. In fact, according to cvsa.org, a semi-truck and trailer weighing 80,000 pounds traveling at 55 miles per hour in ideal road conditions would need 91% more stopping distance than a passenger vehicle would need. Ensuring you give truck and bus drivers more room is essential to driving safely alongside them, especially in poor weather conditions.
Hold in the Urge to Cut Them Off
Rushing past a large truck or bus trying to get into your lane will do nothing but increase your risk of a collision. This ties into the fact that they need a lot more time to stop. If they’re in the process of changing lanes, they can’t suddenly swerve back into their lane to let you pass. Wait until the truck is fully in your lane before passing the truck on the left.
Don’t Tailgate Buses and Trucks
Tailgating a bus or truck puts you in one of their more severe blind spots. The driver of the bus or truck will not be able to detect a vehicle immediately behind him. Accidents in which smaller vehicles slide or get pushed underneath the truck’s trailer occur when the truck must make a sudden stop. These accidents often result in fatalities or severe injuries.
Watch for Wide Turns
It’s likely you have seen the warning sign on the back of a truck trailer or bus that cautions “This Vehicle Makes Wide Right Turns.” What this means is that, due to their length, buses and trucks need extra turning room. If you’re next to a truck or bus, allow it enough space to make a wide turn and let the driver complete the turn before making your own. If you don’t, you could get sideswiped. Also, be sure to look out for the bus or truck trailer when you are to the left or right of a bus turning right or left as it may briefly brush your lane.
Pay Attention to School Buses
School buses make frequent stops on their way to pick up and drop off students. If you see a school bus in your lane, pay attention to what it’s about to do. The bus needs extra room to safely deposit its cargo (children). You should also be prepared to make a sudden stop. Getting around a stopped school bus is a serious traffic violation for which you can face a hefty fine.
Reducing distractions when you are driving, especially when encountering trucks and buses, can sharpen your focus on the road. Most accidents can be avoided by simply paying attention to the road conditions and anticipating the moves of other drivers.
Call a New York Bus Accident Lawyer
When you’ve followed all the rules of the road and still end up hurt after a collision, turn to established bus accident lawyers in New York for help. They’re on your side, and they’ll fight to make sure you’re getting fair compensation when the insurance industry is doing what it can to save themselves money.
Attorneys with Cellino & Barnes are part of Super Lawyers’ Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and have over 60 years of trust. Our No Fee Promise guarantees that you will not pay a dime until we win your case. Complete our contact form for a free consultation.
Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888