How Can I Drive Safely Around a Commercial Truck?

By Peter DePaolis

Unfortunately, there are about 500,000 truck accidents each year in America resulting in approximately 5,000 deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries. Many happen while cars try to navigate around a commercial truck, which you can do safely.

The sheer size and violent force of a truck can lead to a nasty accident. This is why you should use caution when you are driving around tractor-trailers. To stay as safe as possible, here are some tips:

  • Do not change lanes quickly around a tractor-trailer and make sure to pass them with care
  • Watch for turns and do not try to squeeze directly behind or beside a trailer (when a truck driver is attempting to turn, the trailer may need space)
  • Do not tailgate (this can lead to a serious underride accident)
  • Adjust your speed to the weather conditions
  • Attempt to avoid driving in what you believe to be a truck’s blind spots
  • Report any reckless driving you see to the police

It should be noted that if you are ever involved in a truck accident, it might be in your best interest to speak to an attorney. Remember, truck accidents can occur for a number of reasons, including negligence. It is not uncommon for violent crashes to happen due to lack of driver training, driver fatigue, improper truck maintenance and auto part defects.

Reckless Driver Causes Chain Reaction Accident After Attempting to Go Around a Commercial Truck

We want you to stay safe. We bring up truck safety because recently Interstate 95 in Laurel was shut down after a diesel truck overturned. According to CBS News, the reckless driving of a 23-year-old man who witnesses said was speeding in and out of traffic caused the accident.

The driver, identified as Christopher Rhodes, was charged with following too closely, making an unsafe lane change, failure to control speed leading to a collision and reckless driving, after he allegedly abruptly changed lanes in a Ford Focus, resulting in the four vehicle accident that overturned a tanker, spilling diesel all over the roadway.

Having an Attorney Investigate a Truck Accident

As we stated above, in some cases, negligence plays a role in truck accidents. If you are ever involved in a crash with a commercial vehicle, it may be wise to talk to an attorney. Remember, if you can prove that another party was at fault for injuries you sustained or the death of your family member, you could seek damages.

Our firm has more than 30 years of experience working on behalf of those hurt by the careless actions of others in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. For more information about vehicle accident and injury lawsuits, continue to follow our blog.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Virginia Injury Attorneys


Did You Know? In 2011, about 8.2 percent of all fatal traffic accidents in the U.S. involved tractor-trailers.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.