Driving requires every motorist on the road to take the precautions needed to stay safe and prevent accidents. When it comes to sharing the road with big rigs, 18-wheelers, and other large trucks, there are a few extra precautions that motorists should take in order to ensure their own safety.
Stay Out of Blind Spots
One of the reasons why driving near a truck is so dangerous is because truck drivers have more and larger blind spots than normal vehicle drivers. These blind spots, also called “no zones,” are located:
One lane wide on the truck driver’s side, extending back half the length of the trailer
Two lanes wide on the passenger side, extending back slightly behind the trailer
20 feet in front of the truck
30 feet behind the truck
Truck drivers should take look over their shoulders to ensure no vehicles are in any blind spots before switching lanes. The reality is that not all do. Because of this, other drivers should do their best to avoid these areas.
Practice Safe Passing
It’s best not to linger too long while driving next to a big truck. If and when it’s safe, drivers should speed up in order to pass the truck whenever possible. Many commercial trucks have speed governors that prevent them from driving over a certain speed. Drivers can use this to their advantage by doing their best to pass big trucks as soon as possible.
Give Them Time to Stop
Compared to most cars, which weigh about 3,000 or 4,000 pounds, many big rigs weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. This means that they also need more time to come to a complete stop. In fact, a fully-loaded truck traveling at 65 mph will need almost the length of two football fields to stop. Drivers should put more distance between their car and a truck in front of them in order to prepare for a stop.
Unfortunately, even the most defensive drivers can still sustain injuries due to the negligence of truck drivers or their employers. If you or a loved one is injured in a truck accident, turn to the hard-hitting legal advocates at our firm for help pursuing your full financial recovery.