Colliding on the highway with a big rig is a dangerous and often fatal situation. The odds of serious injury or fatality are much greater for drivers or passengers riding in the smaller vehicle. To avoid a tragedy like this, there are actually quite a few safety behaviors you can practice while driving near large trucks and 18 wheelers that may save the lives of you and your family members. These tips can help you make safer decisions when maneuvering in the vicinity of a big rig.
Trucks Have Several Large Blind Spots
You may not be aware that big rig drivers have several large blind spots around their trucks. A truck driver has a blind spot on his immediate left where he cannot see a smaller car. On his right, he has an even larger area where you cannot be seen. Remember, if you are traveling on either side of a big rig, you are more than likely invisible to the driver. Try not to travel for long on either side, but avoid dangerously passing as well.
Think of this: if you cannot see the driver’s mirror, he cannot see you either. This places you in a very vulnerable position that could end with you or someone you love becoming seriously injured or killed.
- Following too closely behind any vehicle is very dangerous, but especially behind a big rig. If you drive right up on the tail of a large truck, you cannot see the road ahead. If the truck suddenly braked, you would have no time to react and possibly end up slamming into the truck. You are completely invisible to the truck driver when your car is directly following an 18-wheeler.
- Always avoid cutting in front of an 18 wheeler or big rig truck. Though you may be able to come to a screeching halt in your small vehicle, large trucks cannot abruptly brake. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation:
“…when traveling at a speed of 55 miles per hour, it takes a fully-loaded tractor-trailer the length of a football field to come to a complete stop.”
- Do not attempt to pass a large semi when it is making a turn. Big rigs must swing out wide when they turn to ensure their back tires make the turn without going over a curb. If you try to pass while they are executing a turn, you will probably collide with the truck.
- If you come to a complete stop behind a large semi, you need to give yourself some extra space. Large trucks often roll backward when stopped on an incline before they move forward.
Driving carelessly or aggressively around a big rig or 18-wheeler is a very unwise decision
Avoid drinking and driving, as well as any other distractions, especially when you are near a large truck. This is not the time to become aggressive or to try and beat the truck to a destination. Drive safely and with patience because the risk of losing your life or becoming seriously injured is not worth the moment of impatience or anger you may be experiencing.
Have You Been Injured In A Texas Area Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one was injured in a commercial truck accident in Texas, our experienced truck accident lawyers are ready to help right away. Contact us online, or call our Bedford, Texas office directly at 817.440.3888 to schedule your free consultation.