Most of us drive several times on any given day. Although the act of driving may become second nature, it is important to remember how dangerous driving a vehicle actually is. Motorists should always exercise caution and constantly be on the lookout for hazards which could cause an accident. This is especially true when sharing the road with a semi-truck, flatbed truck, or tractor-trailer. Fully loaded, a tractor-trailer may weigh up to 80,000 lbs. These vehicles are not capable of maneuvering as swiftly as smaller vehicles and also take significantly longer to stop. Truck accidents can lead to catastrophic and often fatal injuries, so learning how to reduce your risk of being involved in a truck accident is essential.
Avoid Driving in The Truck Driver’s Blind Spots
Driving in a large truck is dramatically different than driving a passenger vehicle. While drivers of smaller vehicles can see most of the space around the vehicle, truck drivers must contend with large blind spots. Because of the way truck windows and mirrors are orientated, there are large spaces on all four sides of the truck that the truck driver cannot see. A truck driver cannot see up to 20 feet in front of the cab and up to 200 feet behind the truck as well as certain areas on each side of the truck. Staying out of these blind spots or “no-zones” is crucial to your safety and the safety of other drivers. If you cannot see the driver’s face in his or her mirror, that means that he or she cannot see you either.
Be Prepared for Wide Turns and Slow Acceleration and Deceleration
When a tractor-trailer turns at an intersection, the trailer portion takes up a great deal of space. Motorists should always avoid driving between a truck that is turning and the curb. You could end up colliding with the truck or being forced off of the road. This puts your life and the lives of pedestrians and cyclists in danger. It is also important to remember that trucks take a long time to speed up or slow down. When merging from an entrance ramp onto the highway, keep in mind that truck drivers cannot maneuver their vehicles the way other motorists can. It is also imperative that motorists avoid tailgating a truck driver....