Sharing the road with semi trucks can be intimidating. These immense vehicles rise higher and stretch longer than any other vehicle on the road. Not to mention, these trucks often have equally massive, exposed loads which can range from multiple vehicles to forestry. While a large majority of semi trucks have their contents enclosed, many commuters are still weary of sharing the roadways with these intimidating vehicles. To help put your mind at ease, we have highlighted three tips for sharing the road with semi trucks.
Passing a large truck is nothing like passing another passenger vehicle. The blind spots of semi trucks are just as big — even bigger — as the truck itself. There are a few things you should know about semi truck blind spots. It is suggested that you do not travel:
- Within 30 feet behind a semi truck
- Within 20 feet in front of a semi truck
- Directly parallel or just behind the cab (where the trucker is seated) on either side
Many large trucks have decals on the back of their trailer that read “If you cannot see my mirrors, I can’t see you” and “If you can read this, you are too close.” These are both advertised in an effort to provide the safest driving conditions for you and the truck driver. You should also be careful when merging into a lane next to a semi truck as you may be drifting into a blind spot.
Watch for Wide Turns
When travelling on local roads, be cognizant of semi trucks making a right turn. Unlike smaller commercial trucks, semi trucks need excess room to make right turns to keep their trailer from hopping the curb. To successfully complete a right turn, a trucker must whip the cab away from the curb and then sharply cut the wheel back toward the cub. This causes them to provide a small gap on the right side of the semi truck which is meant for the trailer.
The problem presents itself when drivers speed up to pass a truck on its right side while the trucker is making this turn. This leaves the careless driver trapped in the path of a dangerously large trailer. To avoid this, sit back and allow the driver to complete his turn and then proceed once he’s done..
Patience is key when operating any motor vehicle, but most important when faced with a vehicle that has an engine 6 times the size of a passenger vehicle and takes 40% longer to stop. Whether you’re travelling on local roads or the interstate, respect the space a semi truck driver needs to operate his vehicle and do not rush to pass or overtake a semi truck. You will likely be setting yourself up for an unfortunate truck accident.
There are many situations when passenger vehicle drivers may be at fault, but they are often times when negligence on the behalf of the trucker leads to a serious accident. If you or someone you know has been injured in a truck accident, do not wait to seek legal representation. Contact Car Accident Cases for a free case evaluation. We can pair you with an experienced truck accident attorney in your area who can analyze your case and pursue legal action.