Semi truck accidents are some of the most deadly and destructive of all traffic mishaps. Sadly, many semi truck crashes occur for reasons that could have easily been prevented. Staying safe on our highways must be a priority to both truck operators and drivers of all other vehicles on the roads. Following are 5 important tips to help you safely share the road with tractor trailers and how to avoid being involved in deadly semi truck wrecks.
1. Avoid Driving in Blind Spots
Every vehicle has blind spots where the driver cannot see around or behind them, blind spots that are much larger than those of any passenger vehicle. There are four spots located in front of and behind the truck which are commonly referred to as the “No Zone.”
These spots are located to the left of the driver’s door and diagonally rearward from the passenger side mirror. They are dangerous travel areas for passenger vehicles and are responsible for a high number of semi truck accidents. For your safety and to reduce the chance that a tractor trailer operator will drive into your vehicle, stay out of the No Zone.
2. Leave More Space
The best way to avoid traveling in the No Zone and proceed safely around a tractor trailer is to give drivers plenty of space on all sides. These huge heavy vehicles require more stopping and starting room. They also need more space to merge, change lanes, and perform other maneuvers.
To reduce the possibility of semi truck crashes, avoid tailgating, stay out of blind spots, and most importantly, avoid cutting a truck off. Never move into the space cushion that a tractor trailer operator has established between the truck and other vehicles in front because semi trucks require a longer stopping distance.
3. Pay Attention to Turns
Tractor trailers make very wide turns, especially when turning right. When a semi is preparing to make a right turn, you should avoid driving into the space to the right of the vehicle, as this could result in dangerous semi truck wrecks as the vehicle is turning.
Since operators are unable to see what is to their right, attempting to drive in this space can cause your vehicle to be pinched or crushed as the truck turns. Keep safe by simply staying back, giving a big rig operator time and space to complete their turn.
4. Pass Carefully
When passing a semi, you should quickly and carefully do so on the left. Passing a slower moving truck on the right is another cause of dangerous semi truck accidents since this is a driver's largest blind spot area. Other vehicles should only pass on the left.
Wait until there is plenty of room for you to speed up and get in front of the truck before merging back into the same lane. Avoid partial passes that leave you driving along side the vehicle. Once a pass is started, follow through quickly until it is safe for you to merge in front of the semi.
5. Avoid Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is a major cause of semi truck crashes today, although tractor trailer drivers ae not the only ones who can be distracted. You should safely proceed near and around semis and pay attention; avoid distractions that can lead to carelessness. Driving while fatigued or distracted by phones, food, talking, and other things that take your attention off the road. This should be avoided by all drivers to ensure safe travel.
Each day, hundreds of thousands of vehicles share the highways with huge tractor trailers. Semi truck accidents occur for many reasons, including poor driving practices and driver distraction. The best way for you to avoid semi truck wrecks is to always consider the difficult task truck operators have and give them the space and courtesy they need for safe traveling!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 410-5810