Changing lanes in a large truck requires a driver’s full attention due to the need to monitor large blind spots to the sides of the truck as well as the space in front of the truck. Changing lanes too often, or not following proper lane change procedures, can lead to accidents. Lane change accident reduction techniques include:
1) Ensure that your mirrors are adjusted properly.
2) Limit lane changes. Get into the lane you need to be in and stay there.
3) Maintain a constant speed so you do not have to change lanes to pass other vehicles as often.
4) Change lanes well in advance of the required location so you are not forced to make an aggressive lane change last minute.
5) Conduct regular mirror checks every three to five seconds.
6) Know what vehicles are in the space around your vehicle. If a vehicle was visible and then it no longer is, then you must assume the vehicle is in your blind spot and, therefore, should not make a lane change until you can determine the vehicle is no longer beside you.
7) Signal your intentions to change lanes early to communicate your intentions to other drivers well in advance of your need to change lanes.
8) Verify that no vehicles have moved into the space you intend to occupy a second time just before making the change.
When changing lanes, do it safely. Common lane change hazards include:
1) Not concentrating on the task at hand. Do not perform any distracting activities such as eating, reaching, changing radio stations, talking on a cell phone, etc.
2) Following the car in front of you too closely. Increase your following distance to provide a margin of safety while checking your mirrors and blind spots. Rear-end collisions often occur when a driver is concentrating on the traffic to the side and back of him or her, and not on the traffic ahead.
3) Not adequately clearing your blind spots. Drivers should monitor other vehicles closely to ensure they have moved through blind spots. A trick to observe blind spots is to shift your head and body to view your mirrors at a different angle.
4) Not ensuring the adequate room in the lane you are moving into. If your lane change causes others to have to slow down or maneuver, you do not have enough space. Wait for a larger opening.