Accidents with a semi-truck or tractor trailer often have devastating consequences for the occupants of a passenger vehicle. Because these trucks are so large and so heavy, collisions with a large truck or commercial vehicle often result in catastrophic injuries or even deaths.
To prevent these dangerous accidents, all drivers must share the road responsibly. When you are driving, remember these tips to help keep you and your family safe.
Never Cut In Front Of A Truck
Large trucks, especially those loaded with cargo, can weigh more than 80,000 pounds and require several hundred feet of space to stop safely. When sharing the road with a semi-truck, never cut in front of the truck, no matter how badly you need to change lanes. Because large trucks cannot stop like a passenger vehicle, you run the risk of being rear-ended by an extraordinarily heavy vehicle if traffic patterns change quickly.
As a good rule of thumb, remember to leave at least one car length of space between you and the truck for every 10 miles of your speed. For example, if you are traveling 60 miles per hour, leave six car lengths of space ahead between you and the truck before you change lanes.
Watch for Blind Spots
Semi-trucks have large blind spots around the vehicle. These blind spots are directly in front of the truck, behind the truck, and to its sides. If the truck cannot see you, you run the risk of being run into, off the road or pushed into traffic.
Remember that if you cannot see a truck’s mirrors, the driver cannot see you. Always leave enough space between you and the truck, and if you do find yourself traveling in a blind spot, try to move as soon as possible.
Be Mindful Of Trucks Backing Up
Sometimes, especially in residential or commercial areas, a large truck may have to back up into the street or across lanes of traffic in order to turn around. If a truck looks like it is backing up, or preparing to back up, do not cross behind it. Because of the truck’s blind spots, the driver may not be able to see you or your vehicle.
Look Out For Wide Turns
Because trucks are very long and bulky, they require a wide turn radius. Most truck drivers making a right-hand turn will move over into the left hand lanes in order to avoid running over sidewalks or the curb while making a turn.
If you see a truck in the left hand lane, check to see if it is turning before you pull up next to it. Because of wide blind spots along the side of the truck, the driver may not realize that anyone has pulled up next to the vehicle and your vehicle could be crushed. Give turning trucks enough space to keep your car out of danger.
It is always better to have patience when driving near semi-trucks or tractor trailers. An extra 30 seconds of waiting could mean the difference between safe travels and a serious accident.
If you are injured in an accident with a large truck, call Board Certified Personal Injury attorney Bryan Caulfield. Bryan Caulfield can help you and your family recover after an accident by working to get you the compensation you need for your injuries. Contact Bryan Caulfield today at (727) 796-8282.