Whether you are an experienced driver or just got your license, nothing is scarier than driving next to tractor-trailers. On top of moving at high speeds, the massive size of tractor-trailers, also known as semi-trucks, can be intimidating, especially if you are driving in a small car or an SUV. If you are overcome with anxiety and stress every time a tractor-trailer approaches you on the highway, you are not alone.
Many people feel as if they could easily be squished or run off the road after one false move. However, taking the necessary precautions can help ensure your safety and boost your confidence while driving around large trucks.
Tractor Trailers Are a Threat To Passenger Vehicles
According to the Department of Transportation, almost 70 percent of car accident victims that were injured during a collision involving a tractor-trailer were occupants of a passenger vehicle like a car or an SUV. Since cars are just a fraction of the size of tractor-trailers, passenger vehicle occupants are much more likely to suffer injuries during a truck accident. At the same time, due to the size of their trucks, truck drivers have a harder time seeing other vehicles, so, as a passenger vehicle driver, it is best to drive as carefully as you can.
So if you find yourself worrying every time you approach a tractor-trailer on the highway, consider these tips to help ensure the safety of you and your vehicle.
Avoid Blind Spots
Since tractor-trailers are much larger than the average vehicle, they have significantly bigger blind spots. This means that truck drivers have a much harder time seeing approaching vehicles, especially when they are getting ready to change lanes. To ensure your safety stay out of their blind spots as much as possible. If you can’t see their mirrors, they won’t be able to see you.
Never Cut a Tractor Trailer Off
Since tractor-trailers are typically carrying heavy cargo, it is a lot harder for them to slow down. While you should never cut any car off, cutting off a tractor-trailer can increase the chances of a fatal accident.
Avoid Abrupt Lane Changes
As stated above, tractor-trailers have a much harder time stopping and moving out of the way than typical vehicles. Whenever you need to change lanes, make sure you check your blind spots, use your turn signals, and give yourself enough space to switch lanes safely.
When you do have to change lanes and pass a tractor-trailer, make sure you do so responsibly. It is crucial to always pass a truck on the right side using the fast lane to make sure they are aware of your vehicle. It is also important to maintain your speed as you pass. Slowing down or speeding up can make it hard for the truck driver to see you, which could result in a dangerous accident.
Keep Your High Beams Off
When it comes to driving at night, you may think it safer to drive with your high beams on at all times. However, your bright lights can end up blinding truck drivers as the light reflects off of their mirrors which increases the chance of an accident.
Give Trucks Space
On top of needing extra space to slow down and stop, tractor-trailers need extra space in order to make wide turns. Traveling too closely to tractor-trailers can cause them to crash into your car, especially on sharp roundabouts. In addition, high winds can cause tractor-trailers to tip over easily, so it is best to stay clear of tractor-trailers as much as possible.
Involved in an Accident?
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer, it is essential to reach out to your trusted truck accident lawyer to assist you in the legal process and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Share The Road
The best way to ensure your safety is to be considerate of other drivers around you. Follow these tips, and always stay alert.