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Sharing the road with commercial trucks

Wisconsin drivers are used to seeing large trucks on highways, roads and city streets. If you feel a twinge of trepidation and an instinct to avoid when you catch sight of a big rig, you have good reason.

Several attributes common to large trucks make them a particular kind of risk for other motorists. Taking safety precautions can help you reduce the chances of getting into a potentially highly damaging crash.

Pass with caution

Take care when passing a large truck. Its size creates extensive blind zones and also makes it harder for the driver to react quickly to an unexpected vehicle surfacing in front of it. Before you begin passing, check if you can see the truck's driver in your mirror - this tells you whether he or she can see you. Signal before you move, and leave the blind spot as soon as possible, keeping your distance from the truck. If you see a truck trying to pass you, slow down and give it room to merge.

Keep a safe distance

Following too closely is always a bad idea, as it often results in a lack of proper stopping distance and increases the chance of you rear-ending the vehicle ahead of you if it stops or slows suddenly. When the vehicle ahead of you is a semi-trailer, a rear-end collision can be more disastrous than typical if your car slides underneath the truck. While many trucks come with guards intended to prevent underride, the guard may not always withstand the impact of a crash.

Understand that some trucks need to move slower

Some trucks must limit their speeds due to operating restrictions. If you feel frustrated about a slow-moving truck, continue to drive safely and give the truck enough space. Honking, cutting in front and other forms of aggressive driving will not make the truck go faster but will increase the chances of a wreck by distracting other motorists.

Sometimes, car accidents happen even to the most cautious drivers. If you become involved in an accident with a truck, you may need prompt and accurate legal advice to understand how to proceed next.

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Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC
123 7th St S
La Crosse, WI 54601

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