Accidents occur daily on American roads. It makes observing proper safety measures an absolute priority. When you’re driving or cycling, it’s crucial to know how to handle yourself around different types of vehicles.
How a car moves and maneuvers itself on the road isn’t the same as large trucks or buses. The severity of a crash involving a car and that involving a bus isn’t the same either. Accidents involving large vehicles often lead to severe injuries or death. Another thing to consider is legal action. There’s a high chance the bus or truck driver may not be regarded as the at-fault party due to the known limitations of handling large vehicles, such as blind spots. Basically, it’s in your best interest to understand the limitations that come with large vehicles like buses. Here are tips to help you stay out of a bus’ way while driving:
Avoid Blind Spots
Blind spots are a common reason why accidents happen, and different vehicles have different blind spots. When driving near a bus, you must remember that it has huge blind spots all over. When it’s coming from the opposite direction, it has blind spots at the front. If you’re behind the bus, there are blind spots at the back and the sides. It’s always safe to assume that the driver can’t see you until you move ahead, parallel to the front of the bus. If you can’t stay within the driver’s field of vision, slow down and maintain a distance from the vehicle. Remember, tailgating a bus is not advisable. It’s common with cars, but it can be disastrous when you’re following a bus.
Give Priority at Stops
It’s not just courteous but also smart to give buses priority, especially when the bus is pulling out of a stop. Buses tend to be slow, and it may feel like you can be quick, but it’s not advisable to keep going.
Remember, as long as the vehicle is signaling to pull out of a stop, let it go because it occupies a lot of space, and the driver has limited visibility. It’s also advisable to give the right-of-way to buses at intersections.
The length and size of a bus make the back and the sides unsafe. If the conditions for overtaking are right, make sure to signal the bus driver before attempting to pass them.
If you were driving on the right, move into the left lane and go past quickly. Make sure you can see the bus driver clearly.
Watch Out for the Turns
It’s common knowledge that buses and trucks are pretty tricky to maneuver. That is easy to see when they make turns and have to veer way out of their lanes.
If the bus is signaling to make a turn, stay out of its way. You don’t want to force through as you may easily find yourself within the vehicle’s path.
Watch out for the turns and stay clear out of the way until the bus completes the turn safely.
Maintain a Safe Distance
If you don’t do anything else, you’re still okay if you maintain a safe distance with a bus. For one, buses are so high off the ground that if you hit one from behind, your car may slide under, which may lead to a serious accident. Besides the blind spot factor, there’s the issue of stopping. Buses don’t stop quite as easily as smaller vehicles, which is extremely risky if you drive too close ahead. If the bus fails to stop in time, it could easily ram into you.
Be Extra Cautious in Bad Weather
Bad weather is risky, and when you’re driving near a bus, the risk factor goes up. There’s reduced visibility and slick roads leading to loss of traction.
Basically, if you’re having a hard time handling your car in bad weather, the bus driver is having an even worse time. Try giving the bus extra room and stay patient.
Remember, you don’t want to be the at-fault party if an accident occurs. JT Legal Group has put together what you need to do if you get into an accident involving a bus.
Driving next to a bus, or even ahead and behind it, exposes you to additional risks that can only come from large commercial vehicles. Traveling alongside these vehicles demands an added layer of vigilance and proper use of traffic rules.