When it comes to driving, one of the scariest things that you can experience is being on a dark, narrow, or curvy road next to a tractor trailer. In many instances, you find yourself slowing down to drop a safe distance behind them, or speeding ahead so that you aren’t trapped between the side of the road and an 18-wheeler’s massive tires. This a fear that many people share, and for good reasons. A semi is a large vehicle whose operator, and operation are unknown to us.
Driving a tractor trailer is a unique and difficult job. Drivers are operating their vehicles for long hours, making trip after trip across country delivering shipments. While there are regulations in place to help cut down on operator error, 18-wheelers are still driven by human beings who are prone to getting drowsy, distracted, or making judgement errors.
If there is another vehicle involved, a tractor trailer accident is more often than not fatal. If the passengers of the other vehicles aren’t killed, there are other serious consequences such as prolonged hospitalization, major property damage, and life-long injury related complications. It is important to keep you and your family safe by following basic safety tips for driving near large trucks such as:
1) Give tractor trailers a lot of room
There are many reasons to give tractor trailers room on the road. They can easily have tire blow outs, they make wide turns, and have wide sides that catch the wind. All of these things can lead to drifting into other lanes unexpectedly.
2) Stay out of a tractor trailer’s blind spot
You often hear that if you can’t see the driver, the driver can’t see you. A tractor trailer driver’s field of vision is less than any of us would like. Keep in mind the blind spots illustrated below and make sure to spend as little time in them as possible.
3) Pass safely
Passing a semi is not like passing a car. Tractor trailers take longer to stop so make sure to leave at least three 18-wheeler lengths between you and the truck. Also, with the amount of blind area on the trucks right, make sure to keep to their left when passing.
No matter how safely you drive around an 18-wheeler, accidents still happen. It is important that if a loved one is involved in a tractor trailer accident that you contact an attorney right away. It is crucial to contact an experienced attorney who doesn’t just understand automotive negligence but is experienced in dealing with the complexity of state and federal regulations associated with the use and operation of a tractor trailer. An attorney with this specific knowledge and experience can make sure there is a proper investigation done into the accident’s circumstances, and get you the compensation that you need to handle the fall out of an accident.