There are many reasons and causes for automobile accidents, but one of the worst types of accidents is the ones that involve semi-trucks. If you get nervous every time you find yourself side-by-side with a big rig on the highway, you’re not alone. This situation causes stress for many drivers. Yet, there’s no need to feel stressed. You just need to know how to stay safe when sharing the road with these oversized vehicles.
If you’re ever involved in an accident with a semi-truck, once everything is reported and you’ve contacted your insurance, be sure to also contact a tractor trailer injury attorney so you can receive any just compensation.
Here are some things you should know to stay safe while sharing the roads with tractor-trailers.
1. Pass or Let Pass
There’s good reason to be nervous when driving next to a semi-truck. Like any vehicle, they have blind spots, so if you’re driving next to their trailer, they may not see you. Of course, truck drivers are trained to give advance notice of their intentions to switch lanes, but if you’re keeping pace with them you might not notice their signal. It’s never safe to keep pace with a semi. Pass them or allow them to pass you.
2. Stay Back
Many trucks offer warnings on the backs of their trailers for drivers to stay back a certain distance. They may recommend 100 feet or 200 feet. This isn’t because they don’t like tailgaters, although nobody does. This is for everyone’s safety. If you’re driving too close and the truck driver has to hit his brakes, there’s a chance you could collide with him, and oftentimes, truck drivers are hauling dangerous substances or chemicals. Even if they aren’t, driving into the back of a semi-truck is not a situation you want to be in.
3. Give Them Space
Big rigs don’t maneuver the same way smaller vehicles do. They need space to make wide turns, and they need space to change lanes. Their job isn’t easy, and often it’s stressful. Be kind to truckers when you encounter them in town or on the highway. If you come to a light and see they are turning, give them room to do so comfortably.
4. Be a Safe Driver
Being a safe driver, in general, can help you avoid any accident, whether it’s with a truck or another type of vehicle. Always follow the rules of the road. If you speed in excess of the posted speed limit, you’re putting everyone in danger, including truck drivers. Regaining control of a large trailer is much more difficult than regaining control of a small car. The driver’s response time might be great, but even the best response time can’t stop a large trailer that has already lost balance.
Understanding the difficulties semi-drivers contend with can help you become a more responsible driver when sharing the road with them. They’re playing a critical part in the nation’s economy every time they transport a load, so they need to be there. You play a critical part when you don’t complicate their job.
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