Tractor-trailers, commonly known as semi-trucks, are not passenger vehicles. They are designed for the purpose of transporting goods over long distances efficiently. Due to their size and limited maneuverability, tractor-trailers can cause devastating damage in a collision.
Accidents involving semi-trucks killed more than 3,750 people on U.S. roads in 2011, and injured many more. Keep the following tips in mind when driving near large trucks to minimize the danger to you and those in your vehicle.
1. Give a truck extra space.
Keep ample distance when driving in front of or behind a large truck, and choose another lane if a semi truck is driving too closely behind you. Tractor-trailers need substantially more space than a car does to come to a complete stop in an emergency.
2. Stay out of a truck’s blind spot.
Tractor-trailers have larger blind spots than other vehicles. Follow this general rule: If you cannot see the truck’s mirrors, the driver can’t see your vehicle. Keep yourself visible.
3. Pass a tractor-trailer with care.
Never cross the double yellow line. If you must pass a tractor-trailer, always do so on the left, and don’t cut the truck off by re-entering the lane closely in front of it.
4. Keep size in mind.
A semi truck sharing the highway with you can weigh as much as 16 times more than the car you are driving. It may also be carrying dangerous chemicals that could turn a simple accident into a disaster. Also be sure to stay in your own lane; large trucks are wide and need the full width of their lane to drive.
5. Use common sense.
Whether driving a car, an SUV, or a semi truck, we all are supposed to follow the same rules. However, that doesn’t mean everyone actually will. Check your mirrors regularly, and be alert at all times. Always avoid cell phones and other distractions.
The Truck Accident Attorneys at Atlanta-based Fried Rogers Goldberg LLC are nationally recognized for their work in the field of trucking law. They have more than 50 combined years of experience representing those injured by a truck driver or trucking company’s negligence, and they lecture and advise other attorneys on the topic.