Sharing the road with large trucks is inevitable. Semi-trucks or tractor trailers are great in both size and weight. This fact alone makes them dangerous. Coming into contact with these kinds of vehicles can have devastating consequences. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that there were about 450,000 police-reported crashes that involved large trucks in 2017. 4,237 were fatal crashes and 344,000 were injury crashes. Educating yourself about tractor trailers and how you can coexist safely on the road with them will help protect you and your loved ones.
Safely Sharing the Road with a Tractor Trailer
To safely share the road with tractor trailers, you have to understand the nature of tractor trailers and the limits that come with them. For instance, these trucks are long and wide. This means that they have more pronounced blind spots than other vehicles. The blind spots are referred to as “No Zones.” You want to avoid the No Zones whenever possible. They are at the front, back, and sides of the truck. You won’t be able to see the driver in these zones and this means that the driver will not be able to see you. Give the truck as much space as possible.
If you must pass the truck, do so quickly, safely, and make yourself as visible to the driver as possible. When changing lanes in front of the truck, double check that you can see the front of the truck in your rearview mirror before pulling into its lane.
In addition to being long and wide, tractor trailers are heavy. They are very heavy. A tractor trailer can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds. Because they are so heavy, these trucks take much longer to come to a full stop. Breaking for a vehicle with this much weight takes time. It may take a tractor trailer the length of a football field to come to a complete stop. Because of this, avoid swerving in front of a truck or doing something that would require the driver to brake suddenly. These trucks need time to brake.
Be courteous to tractor trailers. This means respecting their blind spots. It also means honoring their limitations such as taking more time to brake. Additionally, let these trucks merge in front of you when they are trying to change lanes or enter the highway. It is, first and foremost, a dangerous thing to play a game of chicken with a vehicle this large. Tractor trailers need long lengths of road and highway to change lanes or merge. It may be tempting to try and speed up to get in front of the truck before it does so, but this is not a wise move. Opt for the more cautious move and slow down if you need to, but let the tractor trailer in.
Nashville Truck Accident Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident involving a tractor trailer or large truck, Cummings Law is here to help you fight for your right to full and fair compensation for your injuries. Take action now with our experienced Nashville truck accident attorney. Contact us today. You will be glad you did.
Posted in: Truck accident