Tips for Driving Near a Semi-Truck
Driving on the highway already poses many threats, from high-speeders to traffic congestion to rubber roadkill. Along with that, many drivers find it unnerving to drive alongside semi-trucks. With an average weight of 80,000 pounds, it can be daunting driving near a vehicle that is 20 times heavier than the average car. Florida averages about 3,500 semi-truck accidents a year, but 97% of the accidents were at the fault of the non-truck driver. In order to avoid a fatal accident with a semi-truck, we’ve put together a few tips for driving safely near one.
Avoid Blind Spots
There are MANY blind spots while driving a truck. Truck drivers don’t have the precaution of checking a rear-view mirror since trucks don’t have one, and being up so high makes it difficult to see out of their side-mirrors. You won’t always be able to avoid getting into a truck driver’s blind spot, so approaching them with caution is best. When attempting to pass a truck, make sure to quickly do so to avoid not being seen for too long.
When dealing with any vehicle, you should always maintain adequate space around you. If a car stops short and you’re right behind them, then a rear-end accident is much more likely to happen. With trucks, there are multiple reasons to give them space:
- Tire Blowouts
Tire blowouts are extremely common with trucks since the tires may be carrying 80,000 pounds of vehicle parts and added cargo. When a tire blows, trucks will usually swerve causing them to enter various lanes or even run off the highway. Giving them adequate space will avoid you from being hit in this scenario and avoid debris hitting your car.
- Wide Turns
With trucks being so large, making any sort of turn requires them to use a lot of lane space. Most trucks have a “This truck makes wide turns” sticker on the back of their trailer, yet many drivers still try to pass them by while making a turn. Most intersection accidents are caused by drivers not giving trucks enough space, causing a side-impact collision.
Due to the cargo placed in the trailer of a truck, braking is not as simple for truck drivers. If the driver brakes too hard, then they risk the possibility of jackknifing and losing control of the truck. Cars need to keep this in mind when trying to pass a truck.
Regardless if you are driving near a semi-truck or not, you should always drive defensively to any sort of traffic collision. Never drive distracted, always be ready to predict what other drivers are going to do, and make sure to always communicate your intentions. If you are driving near a semi-truck make sure they always see you. Always use your signals to ensure the truck driver is prepared for you to enter their lane.
Semi-trucks are incredibly heavy, creating many challenges for truck drivers. The weight of the vehicle and the cargo make speeding up and slowing down much more difficult than with a passenger vehicle. Furthermore, many trucks have speed limiters which means they may not be able to match the pace of traffic. If the truck is moving too fast while windy outside, it can also tip over. Understanding some of the challenges truck drivers face, you can learn how to drive around them safely.
Unfortunately, even the best drivers sometimes end up in accidents with semi-trucks. Semi-truck insurance is very complicated because there are often multiple carriers. So it can be hard to handle the claims process. Call 1-800-411-PAIN and get the help you need if you’ve been involved in a car accident with a commercial truck! We will refer you to the attorneys that will fight to get you the compensation you deserve and the medical attention you need. If you have been hurt in an accident, call 1-800-411-PAIN, and we will guide you in finding you the best medical and legal professionals.