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What should you know about the way trucks drive?

Truck accidents sometimes stem from the differences in the way that commercial vehicles and standard cars drive and operate on the road. It's important for people in Ontario to understand how trucks may be different so that they can work to avoid these crashes.

For example, a truck can't stop very quickly. With such a huge load, it needs a far longer stopping distance, and therefore may start slowing down long before a typical car. If the driver in a car behind the truck darts around and slams on the brakes, the truck may no longer have the distance it needs to stop in time.

The same things can often happen when a truck is starting back up again, due to the overall weight. Trucks at stop signs and stop lights take a bit to get back up to speed, so other drivers need to know when to be patient.

Trucks also make wide turns. While there may be space in a lane beside a truck as it waits to turn, cars should stay out of that space, which the truck is going to swing through during the turn, possibly sideswiping the car.

Finally, trucks can even cause turbulence in the air, often referred to as "waves." This is not enough to push a smaller vehicle out of its lane, but it can shake that vehicle as it passes, which could cause the driver to overreact in fear, leading to an accident.

Of course, even knowing how trucks tend to drive can't prevent all accidents, and those who have been hit by truck drivers--especially reckless ones--need to know what rights they have to compensation.

Source: Ontario Trucking Association, "Sharing the Road with Trucks," accessed Oct. 08, 2015

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