Go to navigation Go to content
Toll-Free: 888-907-2631
Phone: 540-341-0007
Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas

A Truck Driver’s Point of View on Sharing the Road

Close to 45 percent of all crashes involving large trucks - defined as trucks with a net weight of 10,000 pounds or more - are caused by the drivers of the other vehicles, generally passenger cars. For Virginia motorists, and more specifically those in Fauquier and Culpeper counties, this is important to remember: Not all accidents are caused by negligent, distracted or reckless truck drivers, or greedy motor carriers.

The opinion of a professional, qualified, and experienced Virginia truck driver gives us a chance to reflect on passenger car drivers who fail to grasp the risks they are taking when swerving around 18-wheelers as if they were harmless scooters.

Cutting in front of a truck: An individual driving a tractor trailer at high speeds almost always keeps a distance from the vehicle in front so as to be able to stop safely in an emergency. Remember that the truck driver sits in a higher position, and therefore has a better view of what happens in front. This helps with his or her calculations about what the distance should be.

The sudden appearance of a vehicle changing lanes or cutting in front of the truck upsets the balance, forcing the truck driver to slow down in order to create a new safe distance. Trucks take a long time to gather speed and accelerate, which means that the now slower truck will take time to speed up again.

Driving slowly in front of a truck: If you force a big rig to slow down just because you are decelerating while talking on your cell phone, you are likely to infuriate the truck's driver. Not only is the truck now riding too closely to you, but the truck also will have to reduce its speed, remaining stuck behind you. Large trucks can't make sudden powerful accelerations to quickly pass a slower vehicle. It takes them an awfully long time to change lanes and gather speed.

Changing your mind at intersections: A truck driver approaching an intersection needs to watch for those motorists who decide at the last moment to either stop or accelerate when the light turns orange. Semi-trailers turning into narrow side streets also can cause motorists to get squeezed between the curb and the trailer. For truck drivers, intersections are dangerous because other motorists do not have the patience to remain stuck behind a truck. Instead, they often take whatever opening they see to pass the slower truck.

A lot of maneuvers that are rapidly executed by passenger cars are outright dangerous for a large truck, like braking hard in a curve. Sharing the road safely also means understanding the other driver's position.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Virginia truck accident, please contact our Warrenton or Culpeper office today. You can discuss your accident case with one of our skilled and dedicated attorneys to see how we can help you secure fair compensation.
 

DULANEY, LAUER & THOMAS, LLP
Warrenton Office
98 Alexandria Pike, Suite 11
Warrenton, VA 20186
Toll Free: 888.907.2631
Local: 540.349.2631
Culpeper Office
209 N. West Street
Culpeper, VA 22701
Toll Free: 800.741.1012
Local: 540.825.6046