Last week, we covered some general steps for staying safe behind the wheel. When you’re a commercial truck driver or if you have reason to drive a larger truck or van for any reason, following simple safety tips isn’t always enough. Heavier machinery can be more difficult to control, and you shouldn’t drive such vehicles without the proper training and credentials. Some larger trucks, such as rented moving trucks, don’t require special credentials, but you should avoid driving them if you have any questions about your ability to maneuver on the road safely.

As with driving in a car or smaller truck, if you are operating a large vehicle, attention to the road is paramount to safety. Distracted driving is a top reason for truck accidents. Following all traffic laws and common-sense safety tips is also important, but you’ll also need to be aware of the larger load you are carrying.

A truck with a large trailer comes with some risks that small vehicles don’t. Changing lanes or turning becomes a more complex activity and you must be aware of how your turns are impacting the trailer. The same is true when you are merging into traffic or coming to a quick stop. A heavy load makes a truck harder to stop and it can cause tipping or swerving that you might not expect.

Commercial truck drivers are specially trained to deal with these types of issues, but even they can make errors on the road. Errors in a large vehicle can lead to accidents with a lot of damage. If you are involved in a truck accident that was caused by someone else, consider speaking with a lawyer to understand what your options are with regard to financial recovery.

Source: FindLaw, “Common Causes of Truck Accidents,” accessed Oct. 21, 2016