Even the most safety-conscious parents and driving instructors may neglect to teach teen drivers how to drive around large trucks. This should be part of every new driver’s education program, as it can teach them the proper rules and save lives. This nation’s roads and highways are full of trucks, and it is inevitable that drivers will encounter them often.
Understanding Blind Spots
Trucks have more blind spots than smaller vehicles, which means that truckers may not see others that are driving around them. It is estimated that large trucks have close to 600 feet of blind area around them. Teaching teens to be aware of this and to stay out of it is necessary.
It is important for teen drivers to understand this and to keep at least 30 feet behind or 20 feet in front of a truck at all times. If driving alongside a truck, the smaller vehicle should be one lane away on the left and two away on the right. If there is traffic and the teen wants to pass, they will have to wait until it is safe. Since the vehicle may not be visible to the trucker, it is essential to carefully approach from the left side and to use the turn signal. Once the trucker sees the teen driver and it is safe, passing should be done at a steady speed. The teen should not merge back until they can see the truck in their rear-view mirror.
Be Alert for Wide Turns
Large trucks have warning signs about making wide turns for a reason; they need much more space to do so than passenger cars. It is common to see a big truck swing right before making a left turn, and vice versa. Although backing up to make room for the truck may seem logical, it is dangerous as it exposes the teen to being rear-ended.
If a driver is approaching an intersection behind a large truck, they should first look for any other vehicles in the area. If the trucker turns on their indicator, the other driver should stop further back than they normally would. A distance of four car lengths is suggested; this gives the trucker adequate space to make a turn.
Because of their large size, trucks take longer to come to a complete stop than other vehicles, and those that have full loads require extra time. This guiding fact should be well-communicated to teens and will help them remember to never tailgate and to pass with care. Teen drivers may not always have patience, but spending time to teach them early on can lay the foundation for a lifetime of safe driving.
Our Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyers are Dedicated to Keeping Teen Drivers Safe
If your teen driver or anyone in your family was involved in a truck accident, contact a knowledgeable Virginia Beach truck accident lawyer today. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us at 757-352-2237 or complete an online form for a free consultation today. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.