July 2012
In This Issue:

Changes to Come for "The Quill"

Beat the Heat

Steer Clear of Lane Change Collisions

Registration Open for Claims & Safety Seminar

Resource Library >>

Steer Clear of Lane Change Collisions

When driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), the smallest movements can potentially have the biggest consequences. A seemingly simple action – moving from one lane to the other – can lead to a fatal crash when the appropriate steps aren’t taken. Work with your drivers to generate awareness of the proper techniques for maneuvering lane changes and avoiding collisions.

Side mirror

Lane change and merging collisions are two of the most common types of incidents that occur between large trucks and passenger vehicles. Truck drivers have large blind spots, or no zones, and may be unaware of a passenger vehicle being near them until it’s too late and they have already made contact. Drivers should always double check their mirrors before making a move. As they look in the mirror, drivers should lean forward and back, and rise up in their seat to view beyond the limits of the mirror.

Before changing lanes, the driver should always determine if the lane change is necessary. Drivers should remain patient. It can be frustrating to wait a long time for space to open up to allow the truck to move into the next lane but not waiting can have deadly consequences for both the driver and the other vehicles. Before any lane change is attempted, drivers must always verify that there is plenty of room between them and the other vehicles. Regardless of the circumstances, if drivers leave their current lane of travel, they are responsible for the control of that vehicle. Collisions that occur during the lane change are always preventable.

Space management of a vehicle can change instantly. Keep in mind that just because the road was clear for a lane change one second ago, circumstances can change rapidly. For example, a vehicle may have randomly sped up or slowed down in the lane the driver is trying to enter. It’s crucial that drivers constantly check their mirrors during the entire lane change, all while continuing to keep an eye on what’s going on in front of them on the road.

Drivers should signal their intentions well in advance by giving at least three blinks of the turn signal. Many motorists do not realize they are in a truck driver’s blind spot but they might notice a turn signal and adjust accordingly. If CMV drivers slow their speed for a few seconds, a vehicle in their blind spot can move into sight.

Extra precaution should be used when changing lanes near merging traffic, such as a ramp entering the highway. CMV drivers may feel pressure to move to one lane away from the merging traffic in order to give merging vehicles space. In doing so, they unknowingly create a blind spot on their right side with no way to know for certain that traffic has successfully merged. The safer option is for the truck to stay in the right lane and slow down, allowing vehicles entering traffic to merge in front of them.

Baldwin & Lyons is offering free copies of our How to Prevent Merging Collisions poster and How to Change Lanes Safely card while supplies last. To order the poster or handout card, contact the Loss Prevention Resource Library at (317) 636-9800 or email your request to thequill@baldwinandlyons.com. We also have several videos available for loan to our insureds to help teach your drivers about avoiding lane change collisions.


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Baldwin & Lyons, Inc.
1099 North Meridian Street, Suite 700 | Indianapolis, IN 46204
(800) 644-5501 | Fax: (317) 632-9444