When you’re driving in a regular sized vehicle and you’re surrounded by other vehicles that size, you’re likely a little nervous and making sure you’re paying attention but feel relatively safe sharing the road with cars the same size as yours. Comparatively, when you’re sharing the road with large trucks, you might be very nervous and constantly anticipating that something bad will happen.
It makes sense why we get more nervous driving around semi trucks—they are up to 30 times larger and heavier than passenger vehicles and cause devastating injuries when they collide with smaller cars. Accidents between tractor trailers and regular vehicles over 4,000 deaths in 2019, and 67 percent of those deaths were the occupants of the passenger vehicles.
This shows that the passengers of a regular car are more likely to suffer injuries and die as a result of a wreck with a large truck. Because of this, drivers need to know how to share the road with tractor trailers so that they can avoid accidents as best as possible.
Tips for Driving Near a Semi Truck
To avoid wrecks with semi trucks and to keep everyone as safe as possible on the road, you should know these tips about how to share the road with tractor trailers. You might feel uneasy when you drive near a truck, but you can minimize these feelings by knowing how to share the road with them. Here are some tips for driving near a semi:
- Avoid Blind Spots. One of the most dangerous aspects of driving near large trucks is that they have blind spots all around the trailer and in front of the cab. This means that there are many points where the truck driver can’t see any vehicles around them, and could make decisions that put those cars in danger. When you’re sharing the road with a semi, stay out of the blind spots to the left, right, back, and in front of it, and never pass on their right side.
- Drive Predictably. Much like driving around any other vehicle, you should drive predictably around large trucks because they need to know where you intend to go. If you are unpredictable, that could cause a collision. Driving predictably includes always using signals to alert fellow drivers about where you’re turning or if you’re switching lanes.
- Pass Quickly. When you do need to pass a semi, you should pass quickly. When drivers linger on the side of a trailer, they could be out of view of the driver, and if they try to get into the left lane, they could hit you. Also, large trucks sometimes have their tires blow, and if you are beside them when this happens, it could hit your car and cause an accident.
- Turn On Your Headlights. When you’re driving around 18 wheelers, it’s helpful for them if you have on your headlights. This makes you easier to see, especially if it’s raining or at dusk. But don’t use your high beams because these could end up being too bright in a trucker’s mirror and have the opposite effect that you intend.
- Don’t Speed. Following the speed limit goes along with driving predictably. Specifically, when you speed, it gives truckers less time to spot you in their mirrors, which could lead to them making decisions that crash into you. If you suddenly appear in their mirrors when they’re switching lanes because you’re speeding, they won’t be able to avoid you because they didn’t have enough time to see you.
- Give Them Space. Semi trucks take up to 40 percent farther to brake and come to a stop. This means that you need to give them enough room to be able to stop in time before hitting your vehicle. Start braking earlier so that they can see your brake lights and know that you’re slowing down. Also don’t follow them too closely in case they are attempting to slow down.
- Don’t Cut Them Off. On top of giving them space, you also need to be aware and not cut them off. When you quickly get in front of a semi, they don’t have room to stop quickly, or they might swerve and lose control of their rig. You should always leave enough room when getting in front of a large truck so that you both have a safe distance between you.
- Pay Attention. Finally, you should always pay attention when you’re on the road. Whether you’re around other regular vehicles or big rigs, you should be aware of your surroundings and ignore any distractions in your car.
As a driver, you should know how to share the road with any type of vehicle, but you might have trouble when it comes to large trucks because of the size and weight difference. They can be intimidating, but with the tips listed above, you can stay safe and steer clear of tractor trailers on the road.
When you ignore these tips and drive recklessly or negligently around a semi truck, you can get into a collision. Sometimes, you can follow all of these tips and still get into a truck wreck because the trucker was being negligent, or their trucking company made a mistake. That’s when you could use the help of a truck accident lawyer to get you justice.
Hire Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law to Represent You
We understand how traumatic a collision with a large truck can be. You’re likely suffering from injuries and damages that changed your life and want to hold the responsible party accountable for what they caused you. At Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law, our truck accident lawyer in Biloxi, MS is here to represent you and get you justice. Reach out to our office today so we can discuss your potential claim and determine how we can help you.