Avoiding Accidents with Big Trucks, Semi-Trucks, and 18-Wheelers

The best way to avoid vehicular injuries on the road is to avoid accidents at all costs. This means driving patiently and cautiously—especially around semi-trucks, tractor trailers, and 18-wheelers. You should pay more attention and drive around these vehicles much differently than “regular” vehicles. Below are some guidelines for driving around large trucks and trailers. Keep a safe distance away from these vehicles. The federal government allows semi-trucks and trailers to haul up to 80,000 pounds! Changing lanes and stopping for semi-trucks carrying this type of load takes much longer than the average vehicle. The size and weight directly affects the driver’s ability to brake. Try not to drive on the side of these trucks for any extended length of time and if you are passing a large truck, be sure to do it quickly and leave plenty of space ahead of the truck. Stay visible to the driver Large trucks have large blind spots on the sides and in the rear. If you cannot see the driver and his/her mirrors, they cannot see you. Pay attention to their turn signals as well. Give them enough distance to turn and change lanes. Be extra careful driving in adverse or dangerous conditions Additional factors such as fog, rain, smoke or other adverse conditions can increase your chances of getting into an accident—especially with large trucks. Make sure you slow down enough to carefully navigate through low visibility areas. Wet roads can make it harder to stop. Merging onto a highway from an entrance ramp may be harder for trucks in these conditions—you should carefully move into the left lane to allow them enough room to merge. Expect the Unexpected Keep a safe distance from other vehicles and large trucks and stay alert for any flying debris such as tire blow outs (common for 18-wheelers). Allowing enough room between you and large trucks gives you enough time to react to these unexpected events and to move out of the way safely. Source: http://wiki.legalexaminer.com/help-center/articles/how-to-stay-safe-and-avoid-a-tractor-trailer-accident.aspx