Take these steps to avoid accidents with tractor trailers.
It’s no secret that large commercial vehicles like semi-trucks or 18 wheelers are involved in a large number of traffic accidents each year. There are many reasons why these accidents might occur. However, a recent study found that the majority (75%) of fatal accidents involving cars and trucks are the result of the driver of the car’s negligence or carelessness.
But regardless of who is at fault in a particular accident, the reality is that in a crash between a massive semi truck and a passenger vehicle, the smaller, lighter vehicle always suffers more damage — with the potential for serious injuries and even death for the occupants. That is why, as experienced truck accident attorneys, we believe that it is so vital that all drivers learn how to safely share the road with large trucks.
Being a Responsible Driver and Sharing the Road Safely
When driving on the road with big rigs, it is important to remember that you both have a right to be on that roadway — and that the truck has certain limitations in terms of braking ability, maneuvering, and visibility that require more caution than usual.
Trucks require a far greater distance to stop than typical passenger cars due to their size and weight. If you are driving in front of a truck, avoid stopping quickly or abruptly. A truck cannot stop as rapidly as you can, putting you at risk of a rear-end collision if you brake suddenly.
Truck drivers also tend to have less visibility because of the size and shape of their vehicles. Be smart when on the road with tractor trailers; always pass on the left side and never get in front of a truck until you can see its headlights in your rearview mirror. Remember that a truck driver’s blind spot is much larger on the right side of the trailer, so do not pass a truck on the right side whenever possible. When you are driving behind a truck, keep in mind that if you cannot see his side mirrors, the driver will not be able to see you. Making sure that you are a safe distance away from the trailer so the driver can see you can help prevent accidents.
Trucks also have a harder time maneuvering than smaller vehicles do. Whenever they make a right turn, they will swing out to the left side beforehand; if they make a left turn, they will sing out to the right. Do not try to pass a truck that is making a turn in this manner or your vehicle may be clipped by the truck, causing an accident. Similarly, do not weave in and out of lanes to avoid trucks. A truck driver cannot maneuver as quickly as a car can, so if you are driving erratically around trucks, the driver may not be able to react in enough time to avoid an accident.
Keep in mind that trucks are far heavier than cars. If a truck is stopped on a hill, it will likely roll backwards when it starts to accelerate. Give yourself a bit of a cushion to allow for this to avoid being crunched by a truck as it rolls back. Trucks are also much taller than passenger vehicles, and on windy days, it can be dangerous to drive alongside of them. Turbulence from a truck can cause your vehicle to go off the road or even flip if the weather conditions are poor. Stay on the outer edge of the road, away from the truck, when passing, and only stay beside the truck for as long as you need to pass it.
By following these simple tips, you can minimize the risk of an accident — and stay safe on the roads. If you have been hurt in a collision with a big rig, you will need a skilled truck accident attorney to help you. At the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we have years of experience representing clients in truck accident cases. Contact our office at 800-333-0000 or email@example.com to schedule a free initial consultation. We never charge a fee unless we get money for you!