Semi-trucks are not the same as passenger vehicles. They are large, take up a lot of the road and should be approached cautiously. No wonder, when things go sour on the road, a semi truck accident lawyer is usually the go-to for the wronged party. The horror stories of a semi-truck accident expand beyond the scene and can spill into the courtroom. No one should be unprepared, so here are some helpful driving tips to keep drivers safe on the road.
3. Give the Truck Extra Space
Distance means everything in the world to a semi-truck driver. Their mirrors are bigger, they accelerate slower, and their reactionary movements are different. A truck of that size can’t make a sudden stop, so mistakes are much more costly. There is also the issue of needing to make quick defensive driving choices while in a semi-truck. Not only could these techniques cause an accident, but the driver takes a completely different defensive driving course.
Loads are not built the same, and drivers have to adjust to each shipment they haul. There are countless rules to driving a semi-truck, so having to deal with other vehicles on the road only adds to the stress. Drivers should be aware of this by always giving the truck driver room to operate.
2. Only Pass When Necessary
Passing other drivers is commonplace on the road. Passing becomes a problem when drivers use the same passing techniques on a semi-truck. Passing a solid double yellow line is not only illegal but terribly dangerous when dealing with a truck. Even when following normal passing rules, there are still some sacrifices that need to be made on your end.
Does the driver see you? Pay close attention to the mirrors on the driver’s side. You can see the driver’s reflection in it to get a general idea of what he sees. At some point you should clearly be able to identify him looking back at you, or the traffic behind you. If you’re driving for miles behind him and he never notices, then your car is too close to the back of the semi-truck. Never tailgate a semi-truck without expecting negative results.
1. Blind Spots Are Not Equal
Semi-trucks have different blind spots than regular cars. Always keep yourself visible when behind a larger truck. Pay attention to the stickers on the back of the vehicle since they usually contain up to date warnings. Whenever you’re unsure about how close to follow, look to the driver’s side of the truck. If you can’t see the mirror, then your car is too close. A few trucks are so overloaded that they can barely squeeze between the lines.
In this case, there will be cars or smaller trucks following closely to ensure that a ‘zone’ stays around the load. Never penetrate this zone, and always respect the space of the driver. Even with large mirrors, loads of this size create multiple blind spots.
Always keep the size of the truck in mind while you’re driving a vehicle. Defensive driving techniques will have little effect when a semi-truck is out of control. Use common sense and always follow the rules of the road and the above mentioned driving tips.