For most people in America, driving is a daily activity. Many of us have to drive to work, take our kids to school, pick up groceries, etc.
At the same time, trucks are always on America’s roads, delivering products from one place to another.
Driving a semi-truck may seem like an easy job. Make no mistake: it’s not.
Unfortunately, trucks are involved in accidents often, and usually, it’s with passenger cars.
It’s important to consider that truckers drive for a living. They must rely on their paychecks from driving in order to sustain themselves. Most people don’t take significant risks at work, especially when lives are on the line, and truckers are no different.
Because trucks are so large and heavy, it can be easy to assume that they cause most of the accidents they are involved in, but that’s not actually the case. Passenger car drivers are significantly more likely to cause accidents involving trucks than big rig drivers are.
What can you do? Follow these simple tips to help prevent truck accidents:
Give Trucks Plenty of Space
Trucks aren’t just big cars. They don’t operate in the same ways that cars do, and their blind spots are massive. It’s never a good idea to drive around or behind a semi-truck for too long. When you do, you run the risk of being in the driver’s way if they need to change lanes or apply the brakes suddenly.
Respect the “No-Zones”
It’s in your best interest not to hang out in a truck’s “no-zones” (blind spots). Trucks cannot see cars:
- In the lane directly to the left,
- In the first two lanes directly to the right,
- For 20 feet ahead of the cab, and
- For 30 feet in the rear.
Pass Trucks With Caution
It’s essential to take extra care when passing trucks. As you can see from the graphic above, the blind spots on big-rigs are massive.
Only passing trucks (and other vehicles) on the left is critical. As you now know, it is very difficult for truckers to see motorists in the lanes to the right, which makes passing on the right side dangerous.
Similarly, don’t spend too much time passing a truck. The more time you spend behind or alongside the truck, the greater your chance of colliding with it.
Provide Clear Signals
Passenger car drivers need to make every effort to be seen by truckers before and while passing. That means providing clear signals before and during every move you make.
Don’t make sudden or risky maneuvers. Before you pass, switch lanes, or execute a turn near a semi-truck, be sure to give clear signals, so the trucker has time to anticipate your behavior.
Turn on your signal earlier than you usually would for other drivers, so the trucker has plenty of time to adapt their driving.
If you get over suddenly, the trucker may not have enough time to avoid a collision.
Never Cut Off A Truck
If a collision between a semi-truck and a compact car occurs, who do you think is more likely to survive the crash? Passenger car drivers are far more likely to lose their lives in accidents with trucks than truck drivers are.
Since passenger car drivers tend to cause more truck accidents and are also more likely to die as a result, everyone should have a vested interest in avoiding and preventing these sorts of incidents.
If you drive a passenger car, it’s a good idea to consider these factors next time (and every time) you get behind the wheel.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re just learning about all this. Everyone makes mistakes, and accidents are unfortunately a very common part of life. If you’ve suffered an injury in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Let our team see if we can help you recover it.
Call Templeton Smithee Hayes Heinrich & Russell, LLP today. We represent clients in the Texas panhandle and Eastern New Mexico.