Semi-trucks make many drivers nervous. These large, powerful vehicles can do a lot of damage in a collision, and sharing the road with them requires extra care. It’s estimated that more than 70 percent of the accidents between cars and 18-wheelers are caused by and error of the smaller vehicle which makes it important that you learn how to drive around truck on the road.
Do not drive in their blind spot – One of the most important things to remember is that 18-wheelers have a much larger blind spot than smaller vehicles. If you can’t see the truck’s mirrors, the truck driver likely cannot see you. This means that you should not linger in the blind spot or follow too closely behind a truck.
Do not tailgate 18-wheelers – Trucks also require more stopping distance. At highway speeds, it can take a large semi the length of a football field to reach a complete stop. This means that rapidly cutting off a semi or slowing down too quickly in front of one is a recipe for disaster. This becomes especially important when driving in harsh weather conditions. Give large trucks ample space to stop when roads are wet or icy.
Be patient when passing a truck – When passing a truck on a 2-lane highway, be sure that you have enough time to get around them before losing your passing lane. Most truckers will move over onto the shoulder if they are unable to keep up with the flow of traffic and no other passing options are available. If you cannot pass safely, be patient and wait for an opportunity to do so. When you do pass, be sure that you can see the truck clearly in your rearview mirror before moving over. This helps to ensure that you’ve put enough distance between yourself and the truck to allow for safe stopping or speed adjustment.
Give trucks space when they are making turns – Bear in mind that trucks make wide turns. A truck may need to veer left before turning right, for example. If you see that a truck is turning off ahead of you, slow down to allow it time to complete the turn without you crowding into its space. If you are right beside or directly behind the truck while it’s turning, the driver may not be able to see you.
No matter how cautious you are around 18-wheelers on the road, these vehicles are always going to be prone to accidents. If you’ve been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler or other large vehicle, we can help. Contact our firm today for more information or to request a free initial consultation with one of our experienced accident and injury attorneys.