NASHVILLE, Tennessee. Merging into the flow of traffic on the highway can be one of the most stressful experiences in driving. If you don’t accelerate quickly enough, if you don’t properly signal the drivers behind you, or if you fail to properly merge into moving traffic, you could find yourself at risk of a crash.
Timing one’s entry when joining the flow of traffic is incredibly important. According to a long-haul Hazmat trucker speaking to a writer for the New Yorker, one of the common near-miss accident situations he encounters is when drivers fail to time their entry on entrance ramps to highways. Another situation he encounters is when drivers enter the highway, pull in front of a big truck, and then hit their breaks. Many drivers are simply unaware that heavy trucks require more space to stop.
What are some safe ways to merge into highway traffic? One of the first things you should do is make sure that you are traveling at the same speed of traffic. However, How Stuff Works notes that you should never assume you have the right of way when merging into highway traffic. You should always yield to drivers already on the highway. One of the most dangerous things you can do, however, is stopping entirely. Make eye contact with oncoming traffic, watch for drivers to give you space, and keep moving.
The most dangerous situation is when you are merging and encounter trucks. Trucks require much more space to stop and slow down, so you should always make sure you are travelling at the right speed and have given the truck enough room behind and in front of you. However, truck drivers also have a responsibility to maintain safe speeds. When trucks travel too fast for conditions, they can create a situation where other drivers may not be able to react to their behavior, or, in the worst cases, they can jackknife.
One of the more dangerous places on the highway for trucks is on hills. Truckers that have difficulty slowing down or stopping on regularly graded roads will have much more difficulty slowing down quickly on a grade. That is why you’ll see many runaway truck ramps on steep grades. Truckers can and do blow out their brakes if they don’t negotiate a steep grade properly.
Unfortunately, when accidents occur between truck drivers and passenger vehicles, it often doesn’t matter who made the mistake. Generally, the driver in the passenger vehicle is most at risk of suffering personal injury or dying. Truck drivers are required to abide by strict federal and local laws, but when they break these laws, tragic accidents can take place. The Law Office of George R. Fusner, Jr. is a truck accident lawyer in Nashville, Tennessee who assists victims after crashes. Our firm can review the details of your case, evaluate the value of your claim, and establish who was at fault. If you’ve been hurt, you may only have a limited amount of time to make a claim. Visit https://gfusnerlaw.com/ to learn more about how to protect your rights.