Did you know that in 2014, there were over 4,000 fatalities in crashes that involved large trucks? Sharing the highways with commercial vehicles can be both scary and dangerous. And although careful driving can’t prevent every accident, there are affirmative steps you can take to reduce the likelihood that you’ll be in an accident with a big rig.
Don’t Get in a Contest with a Semi
It’s hard to pull in behind a big rig, isn’t it? It always seems like they’ll slow us down, delaying us on our trip to our final destination. But it’s critical to avoid thoughts like these on the road. Your safest bet is to not take any chances. If you jump in front of that truck, it may not be able to slow or stop adequately. And if it can’t, you’ll lose that contest every time.
Watch for Truckers Turning Left
So much of driving rests on assessing the facts around us and perceiving risks properly. But the large turning radius tractor-trailers need can throw off even experienced drivers. This is especially the case for truckers preparing to turn right.
Remember that large trucks often swing left before turning right. It can be very easy to try to take the quick route down the right-hand turn lane when a truck in front of veers left. Resist the urge. If that truck turns in front of you, a crash will occur.
Avoid Huge Blind Spots
Because of size and girth, truckers must content with blind spots that dwarf even those presented to drivers of big SUVs. Truckers cannot see a large area in front of their tractor and a large area behind their trailers. In addition, there is a long blind spot down each side of the truck. When possible, stay out of these blind spots to make it easier for truck drivers to see you and react safely.
Don’t Follow Too Closely
In our fast-paced society, we often tailgate other drivers. Although this is always dangerous, it is particularly so when following large trucks. There are two reasons for this. First, because of the size of the truck, we cannot see anything in front of it. This reduces the information we need to anticipate what is likely to happen on the road. Second, trucks take longer to stop, especially when they are loaded. When we tailgate big trucks, just one or two seconds can make the difference between life and death. Following closely just isn’t worth it.
Despite our best efforts, serious crashes with big rigs still occur. Sorting out who is responsible for a truck crash is tough and often requires an examination of all the evidence after the wreck. If you or a family member were wrongfully injured in an accident, call us at 888.777.1776 or use our online contact form. Delays can hurt your case, so please don’t wait.