Driving alongside an 18-wheeler big rig or semi truck can be scary. Not only is the sheer size of a large truck intimidating, but at some point while sharing the road with one, we inevitably stop and think about just how devastating an accident with such a monstrous vehicle would be. Truck accidents can cause a horrendous amount of destruction due to how much weight and force they carry.
Luckily, there are a few things any driver can do to stay safe while sharing the road with large trucks. Here are some tips:
- Always be especially alert when driving near a large trailer truck or big rig. Look out for any sudden swerves or movements.
- Make sure you’re always visible to the driver of the truck. Trucks have massive blind spots and a higher cab, so it can be difficult for truck drivers to see passenger cars. Avoid driving in a truck’s blind spots and make yourself visible directly from the driver’s cab if possible. If you can see the driver in their mirror, they should be able to see you as well.
- Turn your headlights on in conditions where the light is low to help truck drivers see your better.
- Keep a safer difference than you normally would when following or driving alongside a large truck. Keep an extra lane between the truck and your vehicle if possible.
- Give trucks as much room as possible when you notice they’re making a turn. The driver will need to make a wide turn and it may be wider than you expect. While waiting your turn at an intersection, for example, you may want to give the truck the entire intersection to make their turn before moving forward.
- Give large trucks more space to stop. The larger the vehicle, the more time it takes for the driver to stop. Overcompensate if you have to. A large truck with full cargo can take as much as 300 yards to come to a complete stop from 60mph.
- When driving around a large truck, plan your moves well ahead of time and give truck drivers more time to respond to your actions.
- Use your turn signals earlier and merge/change lanes ahead of time. If you’re afraid of being too close to the truck and need to stop, alert the driver ahead of time with a quick “tap” on your brakes.
- When passing a large truck, try and pass on the right side. The right side has fewer blind spots than the left.
- Don’t stay directly next to a large trailer truck if you can avoid it. During high wind conditions, a trailer truck can swerve without warning or even blow over, causing a serious accident.
When it comes to the danger of big rig trucks and trailer trucks, it’s always better to be extra cautious on a day-to-day basis than pay a possible price later.
If, unfortunately, you do end up in an accident with a large truck and are injured, rest assured that there is help available to get you and your loved ones through the aftermath. Trucking companies will sometimes try and do everything they can to protect their corporation which may put your family in financial jeopardy. If you feel the accident was not your fault or that there may be complications, you have every right to seek legal representation.
A Louisville truck accident lawyer like Tad Thomas of Thomas Law Offices knows how to navigate a complicated lawsuit involving the trucking industry and can help you receive compensation to experience a safer, speedier recovery. Contact our Kentucky office for a free, no-obligation case consultation.