Driving next to any big truck, such as a semi, big rig, or tractor-trailer, can be a scary experience. Even more, doing so could be more dangerous than driving next to a regular-sized vehicle. Truck drivers typically have larger blind spots, have a more difficult time maneuvering, and can take longer to stop than most other vehicles.
Because of this, we want to provide some tips to help other drivers on the road stay safe when driving next to big trucks.
Avoid Blind Spots
Because big trucks are naturally much larger and longer than normal vehicles, truck drivers must deal with more blind spot areas. Unfortunately, not all truck drivers take the extra precautions to avoid colliding with vehicles in these areas.
With this in mind, other drivers on the road should try to avoid riding for too long in areas where truck drivers can’t easily see them. Some blind spots to avoid when driving around a big truck include:
One lane wide on the driver’s side, extending back to about half the length of the trailer
Two lanes wide on the right side, extending back slightly behind the trailer
20 feet in front of the truck
30 feet behind the truck
Increase Following Distance
If a truck driver brakes suddenly, other drivers may anticipate they have some time to brake, too. However, most large trucks weigh 20-30 times more than normal vehicles and take 40% more time than normal vehicles to completely stop. This means that other drivers should increase their following distance to allow this additional time for the truck to halt.
As we mentioned above, truck drivers also have blind spots right behind their vehicle, another reason why other drivers should avoid driving right behind big trucks.
While motorists can’t always prevent accidents due to other drivers’ reckless behaviors, they can make efforts to predict situations on the road and use the following defensive driving techniques:
Keep your speed down
Have an escape route
Be aware of your surroundings
Eliminate all potential distractions
Unfortunately, even the most careful and defensive drivers can be injured due to the negligence of truck drivers or their employers. If this is the case for you, make sure to obtain the legal assistance of an experienced truck accident attorney in your area.
Large trucking companies oftentimes have teams of experts that they employ to limit their liability in the event of a collision. Our truck accident attorneys at Shevlin Smith are well-aware of this fact. We are prepared to investigate your accident and fight hard for your financial recovery.