While defensive driving reduces your risk of getting into an accident and filing a Florida rig insurance claim, it won’t necessarily protect you from the unpredictable actions of the motorists around you. A distracted driver or perhaps a car having a tire blowout could suddenly veer in front of you.
These types of road emergencies require quick action and what you do next will determine whether it turns into a full-blown accident or just a close call. Here are two tips on how to respond:
Execute a Swerve When There’s No Room for Braking
If the way is clear in the next lane over (or road shoulder), turn your rig using both hands on the steering wheel. Keep your foot off the brakes during this maneuver because it places extra traction demands on your wheels, and may cause skidding or jackknifing. Turn just enough to clear the car or other obstruction, taking care not to initiate a jackknife or a rollover by turning too sharply.
You may have to quickly make an equally drastic turn back into your original lane to avoid cars in your way, such as oncoming traffic in the left lane of a two lane highway, or a parked car if you’re riding on the shoulder.
Use Your Brakes If Space Allows
When there’s enough space, braking is a safer maneuver than swerving because there’s no need to change lanes. Keep your steering wheel straight when braking so that you don’t turn and brake at the same time.
With ABS, apply firm foot pressure on the brake pedal. The braking system will slow you down as rapidly as possible without skidding. If you don’t have ABS, press down on the pedal hard enough to brake but not excessively so. You want to stay just shy of skidding. If you can, brake with your engine by downshifting.
Sometimes, you may have to brake and swerve. However, never do both at the same time. To avoid over steering, your swerving maneuver should be smooth and controlled. Do just enough for what’s needed and no more.
If an accident happens in spite of your best efforts, you need a good insurance provider who will always be there for you. For information on our Florida rig insurance coverage, don’t hesitate to contact us at J.E.B. Insurance Services. We provide commercial truck insurance in Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska.