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3 tips for staying safe around hazmat vehicles

If you follow the headlines, you are probably familiar with a recent motor vehicle accident involving a vehicle that was carrying hazardous materials in Arizona. According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the truck accident resulted in a lengthy stay-at-home order for citizens who live near the crash site.

Hazmat vehicles play a key role in the modern economy, as they transport materials and waste to and from a variety of locations around the country. Still, if one of these vehicles collides with you, you are in extreme danger. Here are three tips for staying safe around hazmat vehicles.

1. Remember large vehicles have large blind spots

Tractor-trailers can be three or four times longer than passenger vehicles. While the mirrors on trucks give drivers a decent perspective, they simply cannot show every side and every angle. Because large vehicles have large blind spots, you should spend as little time as possible beside or behind any hazmat truck.

2. Put away your smartphone

It is always dangerous to use your smartphone when you are driving. Because it takes longer to pass hazmat vehicles, though, you should never use your phone when you are near one. After all, distracted driving might cause you to veer accidentally into the side of a commercial vehicle.

3. Be a predictable driver

Hazmat vehicles might weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, making them have much longer stopping distances. These vehicles also do not maneuver as nimbly as ordinary cars, trucks and SUVs. Therefore, you should be a predictable driver when you are near a hazmat truck. This means you should follow speed limits, use your turn signals and maintain a safe distance.

While you can try to stay safe around hazmat vehicles, you have no control over commercial drivers or other motorists. Ultimately, if you suffer a serious injury in a crash with a hazmat vehicle, you may be eligible for substantial financial compensation for your damages.